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Sexson belts two homers, Mariners top fading White Sox

Sep 23, 2006 - 4:11 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Richie Sexson dealt the Chicago White Sox another blow to their fading playoff hopes.

Sexson belted two homers and Ichiro Suzuki had two hits and knocked in two runs as the Seattle Mariners used a six-run second inning to post an 11-6 victory over the White Sox.

With the loss, Chicago (85-69) is on the verge of elimination from playoff contention. The 2005 World Series champions dropped seven games behind Detroit in the American League Central and 5 1/2 games back of Minnesota in the AL wild card race with only eight games remaining.

"We never give up. We played a better game," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Obviously in the end, we had a shot and just gave it away. Down by four in the ninth isn't easy to come back."

Sexson has hit safely in 23 of his last 26 games, batting .382 (36-for-94) during that span. The slugger, who is hitting .316 (73-for-231) with 15 homers and 41 RBI since the All-Star break, used two long balls on Friday to beat the sinking White Sox.

"We are now looking forward to games where we knock people off and make it tough on them," Sexson said. "We haven't done it a lot this year, but the last few weeks we are really swinging the bats."

After Raul Ibanez singled in the second, Sexson blasted his 30th homer off Jose Contreras (13-9) to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead. The Mariners added four more runs in the inning, highlighted by a two-run single by Suzuki.

Seattle's Gil Meche did not qualify for the win, yielding six runs - five earned - in 4 1/3 innings. Five Mariners relievers pitched the final 4 2/3 frames, including rookie Emiliano Fruto (2-1), who picked up the win with two innings of relief.

Contreras left after injuring his ankle in the second inning while covering first base on a routine ground ball. The righthander was struggling before the injury, allowing six runs - five earned - and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.

"It's very tight right now, it's painful," Contreras said through an interpreter. "I was running hard and felt a pop, and it was very painful. That's why I went down."

Juan Uribe hit his 20th homer, a two-run shot, in the fourth for the White Sox.

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