White Sox 6, Mariners 5
Just another fun night at home for the Chicago White Sox.
Alex Rios hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning, Jenks struck out the side for an electric save and the slugging White Sox rallied to beat the Mariners 6-5 on Wednesday night for their 10th straight win at U.S. Cellular Field.
''I think we're really playing good ball and to go out there and be down like we were tonight, I didn't feel like anybody ever panicked,'' second baseman Gordon Beckham said. ''We stayed focused.''
Beckham, Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez went deep for the White Sox, who hit three homers for the second straight day. Konerko's tying solo shot in the fifth was his third in three games and No. 24 for the season.
But Jenks supplied the most impressive power, touching 99 mph as he mowed down Franklin Gutierrez, Russell Branyan and Justin Smoak for his 21st save in 23 chances. Gutierrez and Smoak went down swinging and Branyan looked at a called third strike during Jenks' 13-pitch ninth.
''It's the same thing if it was the bottom of the order,'' Jenks said. ''Just attack the hitters, attack the zone and stick with your game plan.''
Jenks went through a rough stretch earlier this month, and manager Ozzie Guillen talked about taking him out of the closer's role for a while to let him regroup.
He sure looks fine now.
''Our bullpen is just better when he is the closer,'' Guillen said.
Chicago (56-44) has won three straight and four of six to move 12 games over .500, tying a season high. The AL Central leaders also earned their 17th win in their last 18 home games.
''It's extremely frustrating right now,'' said Josh Bard, who had three hits.
Juan Pierre, who reached base three times, started the winning rally with a leadoff walk against Jamey Wright (1-3). He took second with his major league-best 38th steal and moved to third on Ramirez's sacrifice.
Brandon League came in to face Rios, who bounced a single past a drawn-in infield and into left field, making it 6-5. Rios also singled in a run in the first.
''It comes down to the seventh inning with that leadoff walk that comes back to haunt you,'' Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Matt Thornton (3-3) got Michael Saunders to fly out with the bases loaded to end the seventh. J.J. Putz worked the eighth before Jenks came on for the ninth, much to the delight of the crowd of 25,126.
''He looked like old Bobby,'' starter Mark Buehrle said. ''The velocity was up there, he was dominating.''
The White Sox overcame a rough outing by Buehrle to improve to 8-1 against Seattle this season. They will go for the four-game sweep Thursday when Freddy Garcia faces Mariners right-hander David Pauley.
Figgins went deep in the second inning, increasing Seattle's lead to 5-1 with a drive to left after Suzuki's two-out single. It was the first homer for the speedy infielder since Sept. 22 for the Los Angeles Angels against the New York Yankees.
The White Sox erased the deficit with the long ball: Beckham's two-run homer in the second, Ramirez's leadoff drive in the fifth and Konerko's shot later in the same inning.
Ramirez connected for the second straight day and is 10 for 15 with six RBIs in his last four games.
Suzuki and Figgins got the Mariners off to a fast start after they were outscored 17-1 in the first two games of the series. Each of them singled and scored in Seattle's three-run first, with Figgins swiping home after Branyan was picked off first.
Jason Vargas allowed five runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings for Seattle. He hadn't allowed more than one homer in a single start this year.
''They're an awfully strong ballclub,'' Vargas said. ''If you make a mistake they have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark.''
Buehrle, who had tossed two consecutive complete games, gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.
Much of the game was played with three umpires after Brian Runge left before the top of the third. He took a foul tip off his mask in the bottom of the first. A White Sox spokesman said he was removed as a precaution and taken to a hospital for observation.
Hunter Wendelstedt took over behind the plate after a 10-minute delay and there was no umpire in the middle of the field.
NOTES: With the trade deadline coming up on Saturday, Guillen brought a homemade sign to his pregame meeting with reporters. It read: ''Don't ask me about trades. I don't know. Ask KW,'' referring to general manager Kenny Williams. Guillen grinned as he showed off the sign. ... Mariners INF Jose Lopez, who left Tuesday's game with a tight left hamstring, was held out and is day to day.