CHICAGO (AP) -- Teams have no idea how to pitch to Ichiro Suzuki
"He's got everybody in the other dugout shaking their heads,"
Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. "It's almost laughable."
Suzuki leads the majors with 223 hits, 34 short of the all-time
single-season record. He has 27 games remaining to reach the record
of 257 hits, set by George Sisler in 1920 with the St. Louis
"You pitch the guy wide, inside, up or down and it doesn't
matter," said Buehrle, who allowed four of Suzuki's five singles.
"He didn't hit the ball hard -- it barely got out of the infield
-- and he's still 5-for-5."
Suzuki has had five or more hits in a game three times -- all
this season. He has two or more hits in six of his last seven
Buehrle (13-8), who left after seven innings with an 8-3 lead,
even lobbed an eephus pitch to start Suzuki's seventh-inning
"In Japan, I saw that a lot," Suzuki said through a
translator. "But here, it's probably the first time."
After Suzuki's fifth hit in the ninth, the crowd gave him a
"To give an ovation to an opposing player, I think they really
love the game," Suzuki said. "It really made me feel good to see
Konerko's homers were his 33rd and 34th, breaking his previous
season high of 32.
"Konerko has had a great year and played great for me," White
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He's carried this team and showed
up to play every day."
Although the White Sox hit five home runs and got a solid
peformance from Buehrle, Chicago's bullpen made things dramatic at
Reliever Neal Cotts gave up and unearned run in the eighth as
Seattle trimmed the White Sox's lead to 8-4.
Jeff Bajenaru, making his first major league appearance, started
the ninth for Chicago. Jose Lopez led off and grounded out, but
Bajenaru then allowed singles to Willie Bloomquist, Suzuki and
Randy Winn as Seattle closed to 8-5.
Shingo Takatsu got two outs for his 16th save in 17 chances. He
came in with one out and runners on first and third in the ninth,
and struck out Edgar Martinez before walking Bret Boone to load the
Raul Ibanez singled to right to drive in two runs, but Perez
threw out Boone trying to advance to third to end the game.
Buehrle allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings.
Seattle starter Ryan Franklin (3-14) his 10th straight loss.
The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first on back-to-back
homers by Lee and Konerko with two outs.
Chicago increased its lead to 4-0 in the second. Perez doubled
and scored from second following Franklin's errant pick-off attempt
and a high throw by Winn that sailed over third. Later in the
inning, Aaron Rowand singled in Juan Uribe from second.
Perez made it 5-0 with a solo homer in the third.
Seattle cut it to 5-1 in the fourth on Boone's sacrifice fly.
Konerko's second homer was a two-run shot to right in the fourth
that stretched Chicago's lead to 7-1. It also chased Franklin, who
was replaced by Matt Thornton.
Franklin lasted 3 2-3 innings, giving up seven runs and nine
Martinez's RBI single in the sixth made it 7-2. Harris hit a
solo homer, his first, in the bottom of the inning.
Suzuki's RBI single in the seventh -- his fourth hit -- cut it to
Konerko has 156 homers, moving him past Bill Melton and
into sixth on the team's career homers list. It was his 10th career
multihomer game. ... Lee and Konerko's back-to-back home runs in
the first marked the fifth time the White Sox have homered in
consecutive at-bats this season. ... Franklin's 10-game losing
streak is the second-longest in Mariners history. Mike Parrott lost
16 straight in 1980. ... Martinez stole second base in the sixth,
his first stolen base since Sept 7, 2002.