Scoring six runs with two outs, including four in the fifth inning, the White Sox throttled the Mariners 9-3 Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field. (box). Seattle fell to 8.5 games back of Texas in the AL West race and stayed two back of Baltimore, a 13-5 loser to the Yankees, for the second wild card.
The Mariners (68-61), losers of four of their past five, took a 1-0 lead on a Robinson Cano sacrifice fly ball in the first and then collapsed. Starter Ariel Miranda all but guaranteed himself a short outing by throwing 32 pitches in the first inning and couldn’t make it past four with many of his pitches missing, or up in the zone.
After recording two quick outs in the fifth after replacing Miranda, Vidal Nuno gave up a single (Todd Frazier), triple (Justin Morneau), home run (Avisail Garcia), home run (Alex Avila) and single (Tony Saladino). That made it 7-1. Manager Scott Servais essentially white-flagged the game by sending Nuno out to throw the sixth, and left him in there to eat innings and save the bullpen.
Aside from Cano’s sac fly and Guillermo Heredia’s RBI single in the sixth, the Mariners didn’t muster much off Chicago starter Jose Quintana, who allowed five hits over 7.2 innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Nelson Cruz produced Seattle’s only multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 . . . 3B Kyle Seager returned after a three-game absence (bruised foot) and had a hit. . . Dae-Ho Lee, recalled from AAA Tacoma earlier Saturday, received the start at first and went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Seth Smith, pinch hitting for Chris Iannetta, bounced into a game-ending double play. The Mariners went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.
Miranda made through four innings with 90 pitches, 47 for strikes, allowing three earned runs on five hits with one strikeout and three walks . . . Nuno yielded six earned runs, three on homers, in three innings . . . Miranda and Nuno allowed a combined 15 hits.
“Obviously, we struggled to get anything going. Miranda didn’t have any fastball command and struggled. That was probably his worst outing. We were hoping that Nuno would bridge the gap, but he ran into a buzz saw and after that we were out of the game. But (Danny) Altavilla showed us something, didn’t he?” –Servais
RHP Danny Altavilla, called up from AA Jackson earlier Saturday, made his major league debut in the eighth and showed a 100 mph fastball and a 90 mph slider. He worked a 1-2-3 frame, retiring Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu on ground balls to third before fanning Frazier . . . The Mariners fell to 15-15 against the AL Central and to 3-3 against the White Sox with Sunday’s game remaining between the teams this season.
The series concludes Sunday at 11:10 a.m. PT. RHP Taijuan Walker (4-8, 4.14) will throw for Seattle opposite LHP Carlos Rodon (4-8, 4.02). The Mariners will begin a three-game series at AL West leader Texas Monday night (first pitch 5:05 p.m. PT).