Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mariners vs. White Sox

TIME: 06:40 P.M. EST
VENUE: Safeco Field

A lack of consistency has made it extremely hard for the Chicago White Sox to be considered a legitimate threat in the AL Central. Poor hitting with runners in scoring position has made it even more difficult.

Chicago closes a series with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday at Safeco Field, trying to win two of three.

After a 6-3 victory on Tuesday, the White Sox (72-74) continued their trend of trading wins and losses with a 4-1 defeat to the Mariners (75-71) on Wednesday.

Chicago has alternated decisions in its last 10 games, failing to take advantage of a 4-6 stretch by first-place Detroit, which leads the third-place White Sox by 6 1/2 games in the Central. Minnesota is two games ahead of Chicago.

On Wednesday, the White Sox couldn't get their offense going against Ryan Rowland-Smith, who pitched eight solid innings. The Mariners, who have won three of five after losing five straight, scored two runs in the first off Gavin Floyd, who left after three innings because of a sore hip. Mike Carp hit his first major league home run in the fourth to make it 4-0.

"I grew up as a kid wanting to hit a home run in a big league ballpark," Carp said. "Finally got it out of the way."

Seattle shut out the White Sox until the eighth when rookie Gordon Beckham hit his 12th home run. Chicago went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position, however, and is batting .133 with 13 strikeouts in the last 10 games.

The White Sox did get some production from Alex Rios, who had two hits to snap a 3 for 44 slump.

Having again taxed its bullpen, which has pitched 31 1-3 innings the last seven games, Chicago will hand the ball to John Danks (12-9, 3.71 ERA) Thursday, hoping he can provide some rest for the relievers.

Danks has recorded seven consecutive quality starts, going 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA during that stretch. He pitched six scoreless innings against Los Angeles on Saturday, allowing six hits in a 4-3, 10-inning win.

The left-hander is 1-4 with a 6.11 ERA against the Mariners, splitting two starts this season. He allowed one run in eight innings of a 3-1 victory at Safeco Field on Aug. 11.

Jose Lopez, who had two hits Wednesday, is 7 for 13 against Danks.

Brandon Morrow (1-4, 5.29) takes the mound for Seattle after winning his first start in more than two months against Texas on Saturday.

Morrow, who started the season in the bullpen, gave up three runs and five hits in five innings of an 8-3 win over the Rangers. It was his first appearance since July 10.

The right-hander has pitched 4 1-3 innings of relief against the White Sox in his career, allowing two hits while striking out nine over five appearances.

Copyright 2009 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.


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