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Rookie Brian Anderson carried the White Sox's feeble offense for 11 innings. Fortunately for the Sox, teammate Tadahito Iguchi finally stepped up in the 12th inning by hitting a two-run homer for a 5-3 victory at Seattle.
Anderson, 23, in his fourth major-league start, hit his first two major-league home runs off 19-year-old phenom Felix Hernandez. Anderson also doubled in the 10th and contributed to the winning rally by laying down a sacrifice bunt that moved Juan Uribe into scoring position.
Anderson became the first Sox rookie to hit his first two major-league homers in the same game since Brian Simmons in 1998.
"I gave Anderson a day to play, and he stepped up big," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Beside hitting a homer and a double, I was a little worried when he bunted the ball, but he did that too."
Iguchi's homer, a two-out shot off reliever Eddie Guardado, was his 13th of the season as the Sox improved to 8-1 in extra-inning road games.
More important, the Sox maintained their eight-game lead over Cleveland in the American League Central. Luis Vizcaino, pitching for the first time since Aug. 20, worked a scoreless inning to earn the victory. Dustin Hermanson earned his 32nd save.
Anderson's homers also validated the Sox's decision in July 2004 to trade center fielder Jeremy Reed to Seattle as part of a deal to land Freddy Garcia.
The Sox believe Anderson, 23, has a bigger upside and is more of a natural center fielder than Reed, 24, who is batting .252 with three home runs and 37 RBIs in his first full major-league season with Seattle.
Before Friday's game, the Mariners' Hernandez hadn't allowed an extra-base hit in his first 29 innings and had struck out 30 while scattering 16 singles.
Jermaine Dye hit a 97-m.p.h. pitch in the second inning for a double, but that paled in comparison to Anderson's first homer off a 96-m.p.h. pitch from Hernandez that sailed over the left-field fence in the third inning to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
Several veterans greeted Anderson by giving him the silent treatment as he returned to the dugout, and then laughed and moved over to the bat rack to congratulate him.
After the game, catchers A.J. Pierzynski and Chris Widger greeted Anderson with a shaving-cream pie.
But the Sox faced a 2-1 deficit with two outs and no one on base in the seventh when Juan Uribe drew a walk. On a 1-2 pitch, Anderson ripped a pitch over the fence in left-center to give the Sox a 3-2 lead and set off a wild dugout celebration.
But that was short-lived. Sox starter Orlando Hernandez hadn't thrown more than seven innings in any of his previous 17 starts. But Guillen allowed Hernandez to start the eighth. Yorvit Torrealba, who hit a homer in the fifth, hit a one-out single.
Willie Bloomquist, who laid down a squeeze bunt to score the Mariners' first run in the third, ripped a triple to left-center to score Torrealba with the tying run.
The Sox entered Friday's game with a .220 batting average over their previous 15 games and had only 18 hits in their previous 117 at-bats with runners in scoring position (.154).
They did little to improve on that mark. After Dye hit his two-out double in the second, Geoff Blum grounded out to the mound.
In the sixth, Iguchi and Carl Everett hit consecutive one-out singles. But Paul Konerko struck out on an 85-m.p.h. curve, and Pierzynski looked at a 97-m.p.h. fastball for a called third strike.