Blackpool, boosted by their first victory in nine games in their previous outing against Leyton Orient, began brightly and took the lead in the 17th minute when a cross by Shaun Barker with the outside of his right foot was headed in by ex-Everton midfielder Keith Southern inside a packed penalty area.
Blackpool could have been further ahead by the break, with Andy Morrell guilty of missing a couple of good chances.
He skewed wide from 12 yards at the end of a neat three-man move and volleyed wastefully over from close range following a header by his strike partner Ben Burgess.
Brighton offered little by way of a threat in the opening 45 minutes.
Right-back Andrew Whing, making his debut on loan from Coventry, failed to connect with an early diving header from a Dean Cox corner and Alex Revell had a 25-yard shot pushed behind by Rhys Evans.
Blackpool stretched their lead in the 61st minute when a corner by Simon Gillett was headed goalwards by Barker for sub Scott Vernon to toe-poke in on the volley.
Things went from bad to worse for Brighton with 18 minutes left when Frutos, brought on for the second half in place of the dazed Joel Lynch was sent off for elbowing Barker in an aerial challenge.
The French winger became the fifth Brighton player to receive a red card this season and their misery was completed by Vernon three minutes from time.
After being set up by fellow sub Claus Jorgensen, he rounded Brighton defender Adam El-Abd and goalkeeper Michels Kuipers before slotting home his second goal of the game and seventh of the campaign.
Brighton are in freefall following a fifth straight defeat and to make matter worse the crowd of 5,146 was their lowest at home in the League for seven years.