Bobby Jenks exited the White Sox clubhouse almost as fast as he's been setting down batters over the last few weeks. The Chicago closer retired the side in the ninth last night in the White Sox 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners, his 33rd save in 38 chances. He's set down 38 straight batters, tying David Wells' American League record set in 1998 with the New York Yankees.
It's the fourth-longest streak in major league history.
"That's unbelievable," said White Sox starter Javier Vazquez. "That's tough to do, especially in (that) situation."
Jenks has been providing game-ending shutdowns on a consistent basis all season, but his latest run is definitely impressive. Jenks doesnâ€™t get a ton of press â€“ he just goes about his business in a calm, methodical manner. Heâ€™s not out late at night partying or chasing groupies and is a man of few words. Jenks is beloved by his teammates and respected throughout the league as a solid individual and a team player, something thatâ€™s more and more of a rarity in todayâ€™s sports world.
Jenks did not make himself available to the media afterward because he did not want to discuss the streak, a team spokesman said. He's three batters away from tying the record Jim Barr set for San Francisco in 1972.
Josh Fields hit two homers, Jermaine Dye went deep and Juan Uribe doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh for the White Sox, who have won seven of nine against four teams in playoff contention: the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers, the Cleveland Indians and the Mariners.
Vazquez (10-6) allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings, struck out three and allowed one intentional walk. He improved to 7-1 in his last 10 starts and has won at least 10 games in eight straight seasons.
Kenji Johjima and Raul Ibanez hit solo shots for the Mariners, who trail the Los Angeles Angels by 3 1/2 games in the AL West and are tied with the Yankees atop the wild-card standings.
The Mariners had won nine of 12 and pounded out 49 hits while outscoring Baltimore 31-15 in a three-game sweep, but didn't give much run support to Jarrod Washburn (8-9) in Chicago.
The left-hander allowed seven hits and five runs in 6 2-3 innings to lose his second straight and third in six starts. He struck out six, walked two and has not won since pitching eight shutout innings at Kansas City on July 4.
"The whole game I felt like I threw better than I have in quite a while," Washburn said. "I've been struggling a little bit, not throwing the ball that great. For the most part, I thought I threw the ball real well today."
Manager John McLaren said, "He had some crisp pitches, and he pitched well enough to win. He deserved a better fate than that."
Tied at 3, the Mariners failed to capitalize after loading the bases with one out in the seventh and paid for it in the bottom half.
Dye led off with a single and came around on Uribe's double off the wall in left, making it 4-3. Uribe advanced to third on the throw home and scored with two out on Darin Erstad's triple to shallow center, the ball rolling by a diving Ichiro Suzuki.
Dye homered in the second, and Fields went deep in the third and sixth â€” his first multi-homer game.
(Portions of this article were taken from yahoo.com, espn.com and mlb.com.)
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
Jenks is White Sox Hot!
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
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