SEATTLE (AP) -- Bret Boone knows he's not as bad a hitter as he's
been in the first nine weeks of the season.
Boone ended a 1-for-19 slump with a tiebreaking, two-run homer
in the fifth and Ryan Franklin pitched seven strong innings to help
the Seattle Mariners to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on
Saturday.Boone hit his ninth homer of the season off Scott Schoeneweis
after John Olerud walked with one out in the fifth. The 438-foot
shot landed in the second deck in left field.Boone, the Mariners' All-Star second baseman who has driven in
more than 100 runs in each of his past three seasons, is hitting
only .222 this season."It's been a tough time for me and team-wise, about as tough as
I can remember," Boone,35, said. "But it's by no means time to
pack up the fort and go home. In this business, you're not allowed
to do that."I'm going to keep working, keep fighting and keep hacking,"
he said. "I will get back to playing the way I'm capable of
playing. If it's not today or tomorrow, it's the next day. I will
be there for this team eventually."Franklin (3-4) won for the first time since May 7 and ended his
two-game losing streak. He allowed two runs on six hits and three
walks, and had four strikeouts.Franklin said Boone approached him on his way to warm up for the
game and promised to deliver him a couple of runs."It was pretty fun to watch him hit that ball up there into the
upper deck," Franklin said. "I don't know how he does it."Eddie Guardado pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for his 10th save
in 13 opportunities. The White Sox loaded the bases on walks in the
eighth -- two by J.J. Putz and one by Guardado -- but Guardado got
Paul Konerko to foul out to end the threat."I got lucky today," Guardado said. "You don't want to walk
that guy (pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand to load the bases) coming in
with two guys on and facing Paul Konerko. I don't want to do
that."Schoeneweis (5-3) pitched five innings and gave up four runs on
seven hits and five walks. He struck out four.Schoenweis' career record fell to 1-7 against the Mariners. He's
lost seven straight decisions since beating Seattle June 24, 1999,
in relief in the Kingdome while with the Anaheim Angels."The numbers tell you I'm pretty pathetic against these guys,"
Schoenweis said.Schoenweis said he made two major mistakes in the game: walking
Olerud and giving up Boone's homer in the fifth."I made a mistake to Boone and it cost me two runs instead of a
solo shot," he said.The AL Central-leading White Sox lost for the third time in four
games, but stayed two games in front of Minnesota.The last-place Mariners, who have the worst record in the AL,
won for only the 20th time in their 54th game. Last season, when
they won 93 games, they got their 20th win on May 4.Seattle tied the score at 2 in the fourth on Ichiro Suzuki's
sacrifice fly.The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by
Carlos Lee and Jose Valentin. Edgar Martinez doubled in a run in
the Mariners' half.Lee extended his career-high hitting streak to 21 games,
matching Danny Bautista of Arizona with the longest streak in the
majors this season. It's the longest hitting streak for a White Sox
player since Frank Thomas' career-best 21-game run in 1999.In the sixth, the Mariners avoided an outfield collision when
right fielder Suzuki caught a fly ball in the gap off the bat of
Lee and barely missed center fielder Hiram Bocachica."We caught it and nobody got hurt," Seattle manager Bob Melvin
said with a sigh.
The White Sox team-record hitting streak is 27 games held
by Luke Appling (1936) and Albert Belle (1997). ... Lee, who hit a
career-high 31 home runs last season, hasn't homered since April 27
and has only four this season. ... Martinez's 505th career double
tied Tony Perez for No. 36 on the all-time list. Babe Ruth is No.
35 on the list with 506. ... Thomas increased his hitting streak to
15 games when he singled in the third. ... Suzuki upped his hitting
streak to 12 games when he doubled in the third. ... Mariners
regular CF Randy Winn started in left because Bocachica started in
center. Melvin said Bocachica was "more comfortable" in center.
Regular LF Raul Ibanez was placed on the 15-day disabled list
Friday and is expected to be out for a month with a strained right
hamstring. ... Safeco's retractable roof was closed in the bottom
of the fifth when it began raining.