CHICAGO (AP) — Tom Wilhelmsen was in trouble. He was everywhere but the strike zone, and the game was slowly slipping away for the Seattle Mariners.
Clinging to a one-run lead with no room for error, he found a way to close it out.
Wilhelmsen struck out Tyler Flowers with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and the Mariners held on for an 8-7 victory over the Chicago White Sox on a chilly Friday night.
"A game like that, just got to buckle down and keep fighting," Wilhelmsen said. "We can't lose that game."
Dewayne Wise hit a two-out RBI single to get the White Sox within one before Wilhelmsen issued his third walk of the inning, to Alexei Ramirez. That brought Flowers to the plate with three runners on, but Wilhelmsen managed to throw three straight strikes with the game in the balance.
"He just bowed his neck, man. That's what you have to do," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "That's why he's our closer is because he's tough. He didn't give in to it. I mean, he didn't tighten up. You still saw the ball jumping out of his hand."
Franklin Gutierrez homered and drove in three runs for Seattle, which blew a 6-1 lead before it pushed across two runs in the 10th against Nate Jones (0-1).
Gutierrez sparked the winning rally when he led off with an infield single. He advanced on Michael Saunders' sacrifice and came home when Kendrys Morales drove the next pitch down the first-base line.
Jesus Montero then singled home pinch-runner Robert Andino as Seattle earned its fourth win in its last 20 games in Chicago dating to the 2008 season. The Mariners have only 11 wins in their last 44 games against the White Sox overall.
"We don't look at that. We've got a completely different cast of characters here," Wedge said. "I guarantee none of them know that. What we're trying to do is win series and you get that first win of a series and it goes a long way heading in the right direction."
Kameron Loe (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios homered for Chicago, which went 8-1 against Seattle last season. Paul Konerko had an RBI single in the fourth for his 2,137th hit with the White Sox, passing Frank Thomas for third on the franchise list.
"We scored some runs and battled back into it on a tough, cold night, but a loss is a loss," Konerko said. "We have to realize there's a lot of good teams in this league and one inning can do the game in, so you've really got to stay on your toes out there."
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