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Chicago at Seattle

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Chi. White Sox (12-13)010100000260
Seattle (12-10) «01000110x360

Betancourt's HR puts M's up for good against slumping ChiSox

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- So far, the Seattle Mariners are looking far different than the one that has finished last in the AL West the past three seasons.

Yuniesky Betancourt hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and Miguel Batista allowed two solo home runs and little else in 7 1/3 innings of the surging Mariners' 3-2 victory over the sagging Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

It was the seventh win in eight games for Seattle -- all since a six-game losing streak during a bizarre, weather-plagued April.

Now, after Jose Guillen also homered and Raul Ibanez had an RBI double that scored Jose Vidro before Betancourt's homer, maybe it's time to say it: This isn't the same, wilting bunch that has finished last in the AL West for three consecutive seasons.

"This is definitely a different team," said Ibanez, who had four RBI in the two-game series sweep of a White Sox team that has lost four consecutive games.

"It's definitely a different club offensively. Vidro and Guillen definitely make our lineup more legitimate. ... You wouldn't think two guys would add that much, but they have."

Betancourt's addition has been power, following an offseason of weight training that made his upper body noticeably larger. He has three home runs this year. The shortstop known more for his slick fielding than his bat had nine in 217 career games entering the season.

Betancourt insists he's not becoming a power hitter.

"Yeah, I'm going to keep saying that," he said. "But if I keep making good contact, the ball is going to fly."

It did when he hit a 1-0 fastball into Seattle's bullpen beyond left field off rookie John Danks, who looked to Safeco Field's closed roof in exasperation.

Inside the White Sox dugout, "the air went out," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "You know, like, 'Wow, what does it take to win games?"'

Danks knows the feeling. The ninth overall selection in the 2003 draft by Texas, who came in a trade that sent Brandon McCarthy to the Rangers, allowed six hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four. Yet Danks (0-4) still doesn't have a win in five major league starts.

"It's a shame when the kid goes out there and pitches the way he pitched and we don't help him," said Guillen, the manager of the worst-hitting team in the major leagues by far, with a .221 average.

Chicago had scored only two runs in Danks' first four starts. The White Sox equaled that with the homers by Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko off Batista (3-2), who surrendered only three singles besides that.

Guillen answered Dye's home run in the second by hitting Danks' first pitch in the bottom half off the top of the scoreboard in left-center, his third homer of the season. Danks slapped his glove and yelled at himself after the pitch.

But Konerko answered that by going with a low, outside pitch -- "my best pitch of the season, probably," Batista said -- and lofting it into the first row of bleachers beyond right field to make it 2-1 in the fourth.

Danks cruised through the fifth inning having allowed only two hits. But with two outs in the sixth, Vidro singled and Ibanez hit a liner down the left-field line. As Mackowiak prepared for the ball to reach him near the corner, it changed direction while banging off the section of box seats that juts out toward the field. By the time Mackowiak retrieved the ball, Vidro was on his way home to tie the game.

"It's the way things have been going. It doesn't surprise you that it hits the wall like that and dies right there," said Mackowiak, a former veteran of the NL's Pittsburgh Pirates who played his first two games in left field at Safeco Field this week.

George Sherrill finished the eighth inning for Batista. And J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his fifth save in five chances, getting Mackowiak to ground into a game-ending double play.

"I think we are kind of finding our rhythm," Putz said. "Maybe our identity."

Notes

Guillen said he won't make major changes to his lineup or do much else except keep faith in his struggling hitters. "Who's to blame? Everybody," Guillen said. "I blame me. I blame Walk (Greg Walker, the hitting coach). I blame the lineup." ... The crowd of 16,555 was the second-smallest ever inside Safeco Field, which opened in 1999. The game was originally supposed to be a night game, but was recently switched to the early afternoon to allow Seattle to travel to Boston for a makeup game Thursday night.

 
Copyright 2014 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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Players of the Game
Seattle

Y. Betancourt
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Chicago

P. Konerko
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Chicago White Sox
Darin Erstad, 1B4010001 .258
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4010001 .239
A.J. Pierzynski, C4000013 .216
Paul Konerko, DH4121011 .202
Jermaine Dye, RF3111101 .214
    Pablo Ozuna, PR0000000 .222
Rob Mackowiak, LF4000011 .160
Joe Crede, 3B3000000 .215
Ryan Sweeney, CF3000000 .000
Juan Uribe, SS3010000 .224
Totals3226213  
Batting
HR - Paul Konerko (4, Batista), Jermaine Dye (6, Batista)
RBI - Paul Konerko (17), Jermaine Dye (15)
Team LOB - 4
Chicago White Sox
John Danks (L,0-4) 6.2633242 5.02
Mike MacDougal 1.1000100 3.38
IBB - Suzuki by John Danks
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 91-59, Mike MacDougal 16-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 5-11, Mike MacDougal 4-0
Batters Faced - John Danks 28, Mike MacDougal 5
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF3000100 .281
Adrian Beltre, 3B3000120 .258
Jose Vidro, DH3110103 .315
Raul Ibanez, LF4011001 .264
Richie Sexson, 1B4000011 .143
Jose Guillen, RF4111010 .239
    Jason Ellison, RF0000000 .500
Kenji Johjima, C3010000 .327
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3111001 .233
Jose Lopez, 2B3010001 .309
Totals3036334  
Batting
2B - Raul Ibanez (4, Danks), Jose Lopez (2, Danks)
HR - Jose Guillen (3, Danks), Yuniesky Betancourt (3, Danks)
RBI - Raul Ibanez (14), Jose Guillen (6), Yuniesky Betancourt (5)
2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez (7), Yuniesky Betancourt (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - J. Lopez-Betancourt-Sexson
Seattle Mariners
Miguel Batista (W,3-2) 7.1522012 6.30
George Sherrill (H,3) 0.2100010 0.00
J.J. Putz (S,5) 1000110 1.38
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Batista 98-67, George Sherrill 11-7, J.J. Putz 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Batista 11-10, George Sherrill 1-0, J.J. Putz 1-0
Batters Faced - Miguel Batista 27, George Sherrill 3, J.J. Putz 3
Game Information
Attendance - 16555
Game Time - 2:03
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Tim Timmons