Chicago White Sox's Alexei Ramirez (10) and Juan Pierre share congratulations after the team beat the Seattle Mariners.
Brent Lillibridge now has a Safeco Field memory that goes well beyond the 20 or so Seattle Mariners games he'd attend every summer as a kid.
A game-winning homer trumps nearly everything else.
"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."
The White Sox do-everything utility man hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth inning, Jake Peavy pitched six strong innings for just his second win since late June and the Chicago White Sox beat Seattle 4-2 on Friday night.
Lillibridge, a Seattle area native and former college star across town at Washington, snapped a 2-all tie with his 12th homer deep into the bullpen in left-center field off Seattle starter Charlie Furbush. Lillibridge had struck out in his first two at-bats before taking Furbush (3-6) deep.
"It didn't start off too good for me. I was just trying to get on base and he left the ball right over the middle," Lillibridge said. "I feel like it was one of the only pitches I got to hit today and I was able to hit it hard."
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has used Lillibridge nearly everywhere this season. He's played all three outfield positions, second base and made his eighth start at first base on Friday night. It's all come without regularity _ Friday night was his first start since last Sunday _ but along the way, Lillibridge has proved himself invaluable to the White Sox lineup.
And, as Guillen noted, probably made himself some money in the future. Lillibridge's homer was his fifth in the past 15 games and came after he got just one at-bat in Chicago's previous series against the Los Angeles Angels. He homered in his last start Sunday in Texas.
"This kid can help himself to make a few dollars because people now know, or at least we know, he can do a lot of things," Guillen said. "He can play everything (in the) infield and he can play great outfield, he has unbelievable speed, great speed to run the bases. He put himself in a very nice position from now on."
Peavy made Lillibridge's homer stand up despite pitching with base runners on for most of his six innings. 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.
"The biggest thing tonight, I was able to make some pitches out of the stretch. I didn't in the game before that, in Minnesota, I didn't really throw out of the stretch a whole lot. I just didn't make very good pitches against Texas out of the stretch, and I hadn't done that all year," Peavy said. "Tonight, made some good pitches, obviously had some runners on in a lot of those innings. To make some good pitches out of the stretch when they were threatening almost every inning was gratifying."
The White Sox bullpen didn't make it easy for Peavy to even his record. 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. Guillen went with the matchups using the left-handed Sale to get lefty hitters Ackley and Carp.
Seattle left 11 runners on base.
"We pushed the game offensively but we didn't finish the offense," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.