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Mariners 10, White Sox 8: Sox winning streak see-saws to a stop

Even Alexei's improvisational dance in the 11th inning couldn't cheer me up on this long ride
Even Alexei's improvisational dance in the 11th inning couldn't cheer me up on this long ride

Today's game featured a whole lot of blue skies, billowy clouds, long balls, and lead swaps, as the Mariners and the White Sox faced each other for the fifth time this season. To put it precisely, this game was painstaking from the Ichiro home run that kicked it off and the many ties and lead changes that followed; albeit fun in seeing the Sox climb back from every deficit until the final blow in the 12th inning. The Mariners finally got one from the Sox, for the first time this season; and for the first time in the past 8 head-to-head games, dating back to almost exactly one year ago in Chicago.

For full details of the series of events that kept this ballgame going for four hours and sixteen minutes, I'll refer you to the crooked box score. Suffice to say, the Sox lost a winnable battle against one of their favorite opponents. Both teams had their fair share of home runs hit, runners left on base, defensive errors, and bullpen exhaustion. Prior to the 9th, only one inning of the game was scoreless for both teams - the 6th. This was not a game for the faint of heart.

I began writing the recap in the 5th inning and was detailing events in paragraph form, which proved too ambitious as I recovered from a migraine and the game took more turns than a construction detour. So here are some highlights instead.

- Eight home runs were hit at US Cellular Field today. Four for each team. Ichiro had two HRs in his first two at-bats. Smoak and Saunders accounted for the M's others.
AJ 's 2nd inning two-run blast put the Sox on board for the first time. Rios followed with a solo shot a couple innings later, and Beckham hit his third homer of the series in the 5th inning. Viciedo was responsible for keeping the game alive with a solo bomb when the Sox needed it most - trailing by one run in the 8th inning.

- De Aza continued being the lead-off machine that he is, going 3-5 with a walk. He also frightened Sox fans once again, when he rolled his ankle on the base path between first and second, and went down in pain as he was doubled up on a weak infield pop-up by Beckham. He was luckily back in the field at the top of the inning.

- Only three White Sox went hitless today, but they were some needed big guns absent from the lineup: Dunn, Konerko and Ramirez.

- Sox used every pitcher in the bullpen and were forced to turn to Quintana when all other options were gone and Reed was past his prime in the 12th inning. For the most part, the Sox bullpen was extremely impressive and effective, only allowing one bad inning after relieving Floyd with no outs in the 6th.

- Floyd had a rough day and was pulled after five innings and only 87 pitches. He gave up 5 runs over 9 hits (4 of which were HRs).

- Regardless of Cleveland's results against the Twins today, Sox will remain in 1st place of the Central for now.

- On deck for tomorrow: the series finale featuring Milwood v. Sale. And hopefully the start of a new winning streak.

Record: 30-23 | Box