King Felix Struggles, Mariners Lose to White Sox

SportsChicago White SoxJohn DanksSeattle MarinersU.S. Cellular FieldOmar VizquelAmerican League

John Danks is on quite a roll, and right at homefacing the American League's best pitchers.

Just ask Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.

Danks pitched eight solid innings to win his fourth consecutivestart, helping the Chicago White Sox beat Hernandez and theMariners 6-1 on Monday night.

"Whenever you score runs off Felix Hernandez, arguably the bestpitcher in baseball, it's nice," Danks said. "Watching him throw,he had Nintendo stuff out there. I can't imagine trying to hit someof the stuff he was throwing out there.

"But these guys do a good job and we have 100 percentconfidence in these guys. We know they're capable of scoringruns."

Danks wasn't bad himself.

"He's throwing strikes, painting both sides of the plate, kepta lot of our hitters off balance," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsusaid.

Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez each had three hits for the WhiteSox, who kicked off a seven-game homestand with their season-higheighth consecutive victory at U.S. Cellular Field. It's theirlongest home winning streak since a nine-game surge in 2008.

Danks (11-7) allowed a run and six hits, improving to 7-2 with a2.83 ERA in his last nine outings. The left-hander is 3-0 with a1.14 ERA in three starts against Seattle this season, including 72-3 crisp innings in Chicago's 4-0 victory at Safeco Field lastTuesday.

"He's got a huge heart," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said."This kid, just every time he's out there, he just fights everypitch."

Chicago grabbed control with two runs in the sixth. Paul Konerkoled off with a towering drive down the left-field line for his 22ndhomer and Ramirez added a two-out RBI double that made it 4-1.

AL Central-leading Chicago almost had a bigger inning but IchiroSuzuki robbed Mark Kotsay of a two-run homer, hauling in the drivewith a perfectly timed leap at the right-field wall.

"That was pretty good," Hernandez said. "That was a goodplay. He saved me two runs right there. In this ballpark, any flyball could be out."

Suzuki was the lone highlight for Seattle, also collecting twohits at the plate. Jack Wilson delivered an RBI single in the thirdfor the Mariners' only run.

Hernandez (7-7) ran his scoreless streak against the White Soxto 25 2-3 innings before Pierre and Omar Vizquel hit consecutiveRBI singles with two out in the third, giving Chicago a 2-1 lead.

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez almost cut downRamirez when he scored on Pierre's hit, but his throw was a littleoff, just a tad up the third-base line. The play allowed Pierre tomove to second, setting up Vizquel's at-bat.

That was more than enough for Danks, who is closing in on hiscareer-high 13 wins from last year. Suzuki's infield hit putrunners on first and second in the eighth but Danks got speedyChone Figgins to hit into an inning-ending double play, pumping hisleft arm as he bounded off the mound toward the home dugout.

"He was pretty lights-out today," catcher A.J. Pierzynskisaid.

Hernandez allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings. Hehas pitched at least seven innings in each of his last nine starts.

The Mariners have scored nine runs in Hernandez's seven lossesthis season.

"I pitch my game," Hernandez said. "I do my job. I separateanything else happening. I'm not worried about wins and losses. Ijust want to do my job."

Sergio Santos finished the six-hitter as Chicago improved 6-1against the Mariners this season.

NOTES: Chicago general manager Kenny Williams hinted that theWhite Sox talked to the Diamondbacks about Dan Haren before theright-hander was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday."Yesterday was a little bit of a surprise because that cametogether very quickly," Williams said. "Listen, all I can tellyou is my phone is right here on my hip. Things happen fast andyou've got to be prepared to sometimes give very quick answers anddecide whether you're going to go down that road or not." ...Mariners INF Russell Branyan (back spasms) took batting practiceand could return to the lineup on Tuesday. ... Mariners 1B JustinSmoak (legs) got the day off.

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