Felix Hernandez defeated the White Sox 3-2 Friday. He was overheard saying "thank God that Anderson kid is pitching in the minor leagues". (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Felix Hernandez outlasted the White Sox on Friday evening as the Mariners won the game on a Brendan Ryan single in the 9th inning, giving Hernandez the CG victory. Philip Humber went toe to toe with him for 7 innings, leaving with the game tied 2-2 in the 7th. Unfortunately, the offense couldn't get him any more runs and the Mariners had 3 singles in the 9th vs. Matt Thornton, who took the loss.
It was business as usual for the Sox offense in the first three innings, as Hernandez retired everyone he faced. Humber didn't have his best stuff out of the gate, as Justin Smoak unloaded on one that hooked just foul and Jack Wilson hit a hot shot that Mark Teahen snagged down the third base line in the second inning. In the third, Brendan Ryan led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout by Ichiro. Ozzie showing no confidence in his hitting (who could blame him), pulled the infield in. Chone Figgins popped up to third and Milton Bradley struck out to keep the game scoreless.
Juan Pierre led off the 4th with a base hit. Ozzie called for his patented sac bunt by the 2 hitter, but Wilson forgot to cover first base leaving Alexei Ramirez with a single. Adam Dunn hit a deep fly ball to right field allowing Pierre to hustle into third and Paul Konerko hit a sac fly to center to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
After the Houdini act that Humber pulled to get out of the 3rd, he seemed to settle in nicely. He struck out Smoak and Jack Cust in the 4th and set the Mariners down in order in the 5th as well. The Sox had a chance to scratch in the 6th as Pierre yanked a 94 MPH fastball down the right field line for a 1 out double. After a Ramirez strike out and a Dunn walk, Konerko went down looking on a questionable call.
Humber immediately got into trouble in the 6th by issuing a leadoff walk to Ichiro. After Figgins bunted him to 2nd (I guess Eric Wedge believes in the sac bunt as well), Milton Bradley sliced a double down the left field line to score Suzuki and tie the game at 1. After a Miguel Olivo groundout, Ozzie decided to go after the hot Smoak, and Justin made him pay by crushing the Humber offering deep into left center for a ground rule double giving the Mariners the 2-1 lead. Cust was then retired to end the inning.
The lead didn't last long though, as Carlos Quentin promptly tied the game with a lead off homer in the 7th inning. It was only the 3rd homer that Hernandez has thrown this year as his slider stayed on the inner half and Quentin pulled it deep into the stands.
Humber came back out in the 7th and set the Mariners down in order to end his night. Humber went 7, giving up 2 runs and looked very impressive yet again.
The Sox had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 8th as Gordon Beckham led off the inning with a smash double into the left field corner. After Pierre bunted him to third, Ramirez hit a grounder to short. Ryan fired to third, catching Beckham off base. Beckham got into a pickle play which should have allowed Alexei enough time to move into second, but when Olivo tagged Beckham out, Ramirez was standing on first. Why doesn't anyone want to fire the base running coach? After Hernandez pitched around Dunn, Konerko again left 2 men on base with a weak grounder to the mound.
Matt Thornton entered the game in the 8th, retired Ichiro, and gave up a double down the first base line to Chone Figgins. Milton Bradley struck out, and in true Uncle Milty fashion, threw a tantrum and got tossed out of the game. Miguel Olivo struck out to end the inning.
After the Sox went quietly in the 9th, Thornton gave up back to back 1 out singles to Cust and Wilson. Adam Kennedy came in to pinch run for Cust and after a Michael Saunders fly out, Ryan smashed a single past a diving Beckham, allowing Kennedy to come around and score the game winning run.
Record 11-22 | Box