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Mariners extend White Sox's slump

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Not even a trip to Safeco Field could bring the Chicago White Sox out of their eight-day funk.

The White Sox had yet another night of offensive struggles while losing to the Seattle Mariners 4-2 Monday night. The loss marked the seventh straight defeat for Chicago, which has a total of 11 runs in that span.

And this one came at a venue where the White Sox had won 10 of their previous 12 games.

"It's not for a lack of hard work or guys caring," White Sox starter John Danks said after a six-inning performance that saw him give up three earned runs, "but it's just not working out. I sure wish I could have been the stopper tonight."

Seattle starter Joe Saunders was the latest pitcher to silence the White Sox bats, holding Chicago (24-31) to five hits and a single run over 6 1/3 innings before leaving the game with a 4-1 lead.

Saunders (4-5) improved his career record at Safeco Field to 10-1 while giving up just four singles and a second-inning double that Mariners center fielder Michael Saunders just missed when he dived for a shallow fly ball.

Monday marked the third time in six home starts this season that Saunders has held an opponent to one run or none.

He received help from shortstop Brendan Ryan, who made a nice scoop-and-toss with his glove to start a double play in the sixth. Ryan had to sprint to his left just to get to a well-hit grounder from Alexei Ramirez, then he tossed the ball to second baseman Nick Franklin with his glove for the force at second.

"He got a couple nice plays behind him, but sometimes that's what it takes," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said of Saunders.

Saunders got all the offense he needed from the Mariners (25-33) in the third inning.

With Kendrys Morales on second, Raul Ibanez battled Danks (0-2) for 13 pitches. Ibanez sent the last one into the right field stands for a two-run homer -- Ibanez's 10th of the season.

"That was one of the best at-bats I've ever seen up here," Wedge said.

The White Sox's frustration reached a boiling point in the seventh, when bench coach Mark Parent was thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout.

During a Tyler Flowers at-bat with two outs, plate umpire Dale Scott turned toward the visiting dugout and tossed Parent, who then ran onto the field to add a few choice words while manager Robin Ventura stood in his path to prevent the conflict from escalating.

Seattle's bullpen, which has struggled in recent games, closed the door.

Yoervis Medina relieved Saunders and didn't allow a hit in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen had another shaky ninth inning. He walked the first batter he faced, struck out the next two, and then gave up a run on a two-out single to Adam Dunn. Chicago's Jeff Keppinger flied out to end the game, giving Wilhelmsen his 13th save of the season.

"He was better," Wedge said of Wilhelmsen. "Still not as good as we know he can be, but he was better."

NOTES: The White Sox activated INF Gordon Beckham before the game and made room for him by designating INF Tyler Greene for assignment. Beckham had been on the disabled list since April 12 after undergoing surgery on his left hand. Beckham started at second base and went 0-for-3. ... Mariners OF Michael Morse (strained right quad) was not in the lineup for the fifth consecutive game. ... Seattle CF Franklin Gutierrez wrapped up his rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma over the weekend, but Wedge said Gutierrez still is not ready to come off the 15-day DL because of ongoing hamstring problems. ... White Sox 1B Paul Konerko, who missed Sunday's game due to a stiff neck, was back in the lineup Monday. He went 1-for-4.
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