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White Sox snap skid with 16-inning win

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- The Chicago White Sox didn't want their road trip to end without a victory, and at times Wednesday it looked as if they simply didn't want the trip to end.

After 16 innings and more than 5 1/2 hours, the White Sox finally snapped their eight-game losing streak with a 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The game took so long that White Sox manager Robin Ventura wasn't even around to see the losing streak end, having left Safeco Field during the course of the game so he could catch a flight to attend his daughter's graduation.

Alejandro De Aza drove in the winning run with a one-out single in the top of the 16th, and Alex Rios added an RBI single before closer Addison Reed (2-0) finished off the Mariners to earn the win.

Reed could have closed things out two innings earlier, but he endured an epic meltdown. The game was scoreless for 13 innings before both teams scored five times in the 14th.

"I'm glad it's over; that's all I can say about that," Reed said after throwing a season-high 55 pitches over three innings. "We had a chance to win the game, and I didn't come through. But our guys never gave up."

Rios drove in the first run of the game with a single in the top of the 14th, and the White Sox sent 10 batters to the plate while taking a 5-0 lead.

After Reed was summoned from the bullpen in a non-save situation to start the bottom of the 14th, the Mariners tagged him for five hits, capped by a Kyle Seager grand slam, to tie the score 5-5 after almost five hours of baseball.

"Once he hit it, I knew it was out," Reed said. "I didn't even look back to watch. It's part of baseball. You never want that to happen, and I hope it never happens again."

The teams combined to use 15 pitchers, with only Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen remaining in either bullpen at the end. Chicago (25-32) finally put the game to bed while tagging Seattle's seventh pitcher of the day, long reliever Hector Noesi, for two runs on three hits in the bottom of the 16th.

Noesi (0-1) ended up throwing 69 pitches in three innings.

The afternoon game took 5 hours and 42 minutes, with the teams combining for 33 hits. Twenty hits came after the ninth inning.

Told of the official length of the game, Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan said: "Felt like triple that."

The Mariners' 14th-inning comeback included four consecutive one-out singles off Reed, cutting Chicago's lead to 5-1. Jason Bay struck out with the bases loaded, and Seager fell into an 0-2 hole to put the White Sox within one strike of snapping their losing streak.

Seager took the next pitch for a ball, then hammered a 1-2 pitch over the center field fence for the score-tying grand slam. It was the first home run allowed by Reed this season, and it gave Seattle almost as many runs in a single inning (five) as the Chicago closer had allowed all season (six, in 24 innings over 24 previous appearances).

"That's something we can take with us, that we can put a five-spot on a quality closer," Ryan said. "It's tough to lose these games, but there are some positives."

Another positive for Seattle was starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who pitched eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball. A remarkably effective Iwakuma allowed just three baserunners, and only one of those was left on base. A caught-stealing and a double play erased the others. He threw 99 pitches, 69 of which went for strikes, before handing the ball over to the bullpen with the score tied 0-0 to start the ninth.

Iwakuma retired the final 16 batters he faced, improving his season ERA to 1.94 and his home ERA to 1.08. He has 38 strikeouts and just two walks over 41 2/3 innings at Safeco Field this season.

"Kuma was outstanding, as usual," Ryan said. "We just needed to give him a couple of runs and couldn't get the big (hit)."

White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod gave up six hits and five walks in just 5 1/3 innings but came out of it unscathed -- thanks in large part to three inning-ending double plays and two outfield assists.

A loss Wednesday would have given Chicago its first 0-8 road trip in the 113-year history of the team.

It turned out to be a classic game, even though Ventura couldn't stick around until the end.

"It was a crazy game," Reed said. "I've never been a part of anything like that."

NOTES: White Sox RHP Jake Peavy underwent an MRI on Wednesday, and the team found out he has a non-displaced fracture of the rib. Peavy probably will miss multiple starts. ... Before the game, Seattle promoted C Brandon Bantz from Triple-A Tacoma. To make room for Bantz, the Mariners optioned INF Carlos Triunfel to Tacoma and transferred CF Franklin Gutierrez from the 15- to 60-day disabled list. ... Mariners C Jesus Sucre could miss three to four days, manager Eric Wedge said, after getting hit in the back of his left hand with a bat in Tuesday night's win over the White Sox. X-rays showed no fracture, but the injury led to the decision to promote Bantz as a backup behind Kelly Shoppach while Sucre recovers. ... Wednesday marked the fifth time in his last eight starts that an opposing hitter has led off a game against Iwakuma by reaching base. Only one of those runners -- the Rangers' Jurickson Profar, on a solo home run -- ended up scoring. ... The 13 consecutive scoreless innings to start Wednesday's game matched the most in the history of the Mariners. Seattle and Chicago also went 13 innings without a run in 2009, when the Mariners won 1-0 in 14 innings at Safeco Field.
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