SEATTLE (AP) - Charlie Furbush at least feels familiar being in a starting rotation and knowing he'll be going out to the mound on a regular basis.
Now comes finding some consistency to prove he can be part of the Seattle Mariners' future plans as one of their starters.
Furbush struggled through five innings on Friday night in Seattle's 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He barely made it out of the first inning, then gave up a tiebreaking two-run homer to Seattle native Brent Lillibridge in the fifth that proved to be enough support for White Sox starter Jake Peavy.
It spoiled what had been three strong outings for Furbush (3-6) at Safeco Field since he was acquired as part of a trade with the Detroit Tigers. And it continued the debate on whether Furbush can, and should, be part of Seattle's future rotation.
``I'm starting to get used to it now and learn a lot about myself and learn a lot about baseball at the big league level and how you make adjustments on the fly and pitch to what you see,' Furbush said. ``I don't try to put any more pressure than what is needed because everyone knows there is pressure in this game.'
Furbush struggled from the outset, losing his second straight start and his first in three outings as a starter at Safeco Field. Furbush immediately took to pitching in the vast spaces of the Mariners' home park and was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three appearances at home since the July 30 trade.
But he barely made it out of the first inning on Friday. Furbush gave up a leadoff single to Juan Pierre, a walk to Paul Konerko and was punished for the mistakes by Alex Rios' RBI double and an RBI single from Alexei Ramirez. Furbush needed 35 pitches to escape the first and was done by the fifth even though his control had gotten better by then.
``I was battling, throwing some pitches down in the zone, away in the zone, kind of all over the place,' Furbush said. ``I tried to pull it together the best I could the next few innings.'
The big blow was Lillibridge's homer in the fifth that snapped a 2-all tie. It was his 12th homer and provided quite the memory for the former college star across town at Washington.
``You grow up watching games here, 20 games a year, every year as a fan of the Mariners and I'm able to hit one here out of the park against your favorite team it's something special,' Lillibridge said. ``I won't forget it.'
Peavy (6-6) wiggled free of plenty of jams as the Mariners left 11 runners on base in the loss. Seattle left runners in scoring position in the first, third and fourth innings against Peavy, but the only damage Seattle's offense could manage was Miguel Olivo's solo home run leading off the second and Trayvon Robinson's bloop single in the fourth. Kyle Seager scored on Robinson's single after doubling off the glove of Juan Pierre's diving attempt to open the inning.
Otherwise, Peavy was strong. He matched his season high with eight strikeouts and retired the final six batters he faced. It was just the fourth start this season where Peavy allowed two earned runs or less.
Peavy said just getting a scouting report on Seattle was tough because of all the rookies and new faces the Mariners are using late in the season.
``We had to study our rear-end off just to have a gameplan against the Carps and the Ackleys and these guys, and I tell you, I came away very impressed,' Peavy said. ``I didn't by any means have 'A' stuff tonight, but those boys swing the bat very well. This team is on the right track. But no doubt they are aggressive.'
Matt Thornton took over for Peavy and struck out Ichiro Suzuki and Dustin Ackley in the seventh, but gave up singles to Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Carp. Jesse Crain entered and walked Olivo to load the bases but got rookie Kyle Seager swinging at strike three in the dirt to end the threat.
Crain finished off the eighth striking out Wily Mo Pena and Brendan Ryan, and getting a groundout from Robinson. Chris Sale then pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen went with the matchups using the left-handed Sale to get lefty hitters Ackley and Carp.
Notes: The White Sox plan on placing OF Carlos Quentin on the disabled list Saturday with a back injury. The team will bring up Dayan Viciedo from Triple-A Charlotte. ... Friday was the 1,000th game played at Safeco Field, including four with Seattle as the visiting team. ... Former Seattle Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones threw out the first pitch. ... Seattle rookie RHP Michael Pineda (9-7) gets his fourth chance at win No. 10 on Saturday. Since picking up his ninth win on July 30, Pineda's had three straight no decisions. ... Chicago LHP John Danks (5-9) looks to continue his impressive comeback on Saturday. After starting the season 0-8, Danks is 5-1 with a 2.32 ERA in his last 10 starts. He had a no decision in his last start at Texas.
The Associated Press News Service
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