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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fister gives up 14 hits as Mariners lose to WSox

Sunday, May 8, 2011

SEATTLE (AP) ? Doug Fister wasn't hit hard by the Chicago White Sox, but he sure was hit often.

Fister (2-4) gave up 14 hits, one short of the Seattle Mariners record, over 5 2-3 innings Saturday night in a 6-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

The club record is 15 hits allowed by Greg Hibbard on May 24, 1994, in six innings against Oakland.

"I'm a sinkerball pitcher and I live and die by contact," Fister said. "My goal is to go out there and make pitches, get the ball down in the zone and make them contact on the first three."

They definitely made contact, especially the bottom three batters in the White Sox lineup. Alex Rios, Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel went a combined 10 for 12, scored four runs and drove in two. Rios was 4 for 4. Entering the game, the three had a combined .192 average.

"He was up in the zone a little bit. The ball was elevated," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of his starter. "They dropped a few balls in there and took advantage of the opportunities.

"Doug battled like he does but he just wasn't down in the zone like we've seen him all this year. They were aggressive and they have a lot of veterans in that lineup. They are good at making adjustments and taking what you give them."

All those White Sox hits helped Gavin Floyd (4-2), who held the Mariners to three singles in eight innings. Floyd struck out six and walked two. Only two Mariners advanced to second base, none after the third inning.

It was the second shutout of the season for the White Sox. The Mariners have been blanked three times.

Ichiro Suzuki had two of the Mariners' three hits. It was his AL-leading 16th multihit game, the 707th of his career.

Early on, Fister did a masterful job of somehow keeping his team in the game. Three batters into the fifth inning, he had allowed 11 hits but just one run. He kept the White Sox in check with three double plays in the first four innings. Of his first 51 pitches, 42 were strikes.

"I kept looking up and thinking, I've batted twice and we've already got 12 hits," Beckham said. "How is that possible?

"I don't think we ever worried about scoring runs. I think they would come if we just kept doing what we were doing. And we did."

In the first, after Alexei Ramirez bounced into a double play, the White Sox rallied for a run. Adam Dunn looped a two-out double into shallow left field. He scored on a single to center by Paul Konerko, who was then caught in a rundown between first and second.

A fine defensive effort by Fister in the third took him out of a brewing jam. Beckham opened with a single. Then on Morel's grounder toward second, Beckham jumped over the ball, distracting second baseman Adam Kennedy. It got past Kennedy for a single and Beckham raced to third with nobody out.

"I should have just went for the ball," Kennedy said, "but I thought he was going to knee me in the head."

After a shallow popout to left by Juan Pierre, Ramirez broke his bat on an inside fastball. Fister came off the mound to snag the lazy liner. He then rose to his knees to double off Morel at first.

Again in the fourth, Dunn and Konerko opened with singles. But Fister struck out Carlos Quentin and induced A.J. Pierzynski to hit into a double play.

However, things began to unravel in the fifth for Fister. Rios, Beckham and Morel singled to load the bases with none out. Fister hit Pierre with a pitch to force in a run and Dunn lined a sacrifice fly to center, making it 3-0.

"The whole team was feeling good today," said Morel, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI. "So many games we hit balls hard right at people. Today, the guy was throwing good, we just got some bloop hits here and there and rolled with it.

"It's like no one put pressure on themselves. Everyone was getting hits and not waiting for someone else to do anything. It was real contagious tonight."

Beckham and Morel had two-out RBI hits in the sixth, chasing Fister.

"They came out aggressive. That is a good lineup and they came out swinging," Fister said. "The game plan was to use that and our defense and get groundballs. But it did not play out tonight."

Michael Saunders took a home run away from Pierzynski with a leap over the center-field wall in the sixth.

Pinch-hitter Mark Teahen drove in the final run in the ninth with a single to center.

NOTES: Mariners RHP David Aardsma, on the disabled list since opening day, had his right forearm tighten on him Friday while playing catch so the club had him undergo an MRI. "We still don't think it's anything serious, but we want to take every precaution," Wedge said.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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