Mariners 6, White Sox 3
(Chicago, IL) Two franchises headed in opposite directions met on the Southside of Chicago on Tuesday as the Seattle Mariners met the Chicago White Sox in game two of a three-game series. As the Mariners were going for their eighth straight win, the White Sox fired their VP Ken Williams and GM Rick Hahn just hours before first pitch. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the M’s as Julio Rodriguez was a late scratch due to a stomach bug. Again, Seattle wouldn’t necessarily need him as they picked up enough offense elsewhere. The bottom of the order shined bright on Tuesday night as the Mariner bullpen took over early for a solid Bryan Woo as the M’s earned their 8th straight win for the second time this month with a 6-3 victory.
For the first time since Thursday in Kansas City, the Mariner found themselves trailing in a game and it came early. Bryan Woo was not sharp in the bottom of the 1st in his return to the mound. A quick walk to Andrew Benintendi began the game but Woo battled back to retire the next two batters while Benintendi moved up to second on a ground out. With a runner on second and two outs, Eloy Jimenez smoked a single out to right that was hit too hard to score Benintendi. That brought Andrew Vaughn to the plate with runners on the corners and he came through for Chicago. A base hit to left field scored Benintendi as Vaughn had given the White Sox a 1-0 lead.
Seattle didn’t trail for very long as they put pressure on Mike Clevinger in the top of the 2nd. Teoscar Hernandez singled to leadoff the inning. After Cade Marlowe struck out, the bottom of the order started doing their thing. Dominic Canzone singled to right to put runners on the corners with one out for Mike Ford. A rough few weeks for Ford have had some question where his spot is on this team but a nice day on Tuesday was big for the DH’s confidence. A base hit in the 2nd would score Hernandez and even the game up at 1-1. Josh Rojas then flew out to center field and moved Canzone to third with two outs and J.P. Crawford coming to the plate. The former gold glover got his first base hit since returning from a concussion as he flipped one into left field to score Canzone and give Seattle a 2-1 lead.
Scott Servais said that Woo would only pitch four innings in his return but it seemed like they might pull him after just three. That was until Seattle got some insurance in the top of the 4th. With no one on and two outs, Mike Ford put together a strong AB to draw an eight-pitch walk to bring Josh Rojas to the plate. After not hitting a single home run with Arizona this season, Rojas smoked his second as a Mariner in the past week for a two-run shot to right. It wasn’t as much breathing room as Monday, but Seattle had a little cushion with a 4-1 lead.
4-1 was still the score as Chicago went to their bullpen in the top of the 6th. Seattle would load the bases against Bryan Shaw with a hit by pitch for Mike Ford, fielder’s choice for Josh Rojas and walks of J.P. Crawford and Eugenio Suarez. It looked like the White Sox would get out of it when Ty France hit a one out chopper to third baseman Yoan Moncada. However, Moncada lost the ball in the lights and it bounced off his glove to score a run and make it 5-1. Cal Raleigh then drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1 Seattle.
A run came in for Chicago in the bottom of the 6th on a double play so Seattle had a 6-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th. Gabe Speier came on to pitch the bottom of the 9th and got off to a great start with strikeouts of Oscar Colas and Lenyn Sosa. Andrew Benintendi brought a little life to Chicago with his third home run of the year to make it 6-3. A single for Yoan Moncada brought Andrés Muñoz in looking for the final out with the dangerous Luis Robert Jr. coming to the plate. Muñoz was money and punched out Robert on four pitches for the final out, giving the Mariners their eighth straight win, 6-3.
While Seattle (71-55) was winning their 8th straight, the Houston Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox while the Texas Rangers fell again to the Arizona Diamondbacks. That means that Texas still leads the AL West by just half of a game over the Astros and one game over the Mariners. Seattle still holds a one game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for the third Wild Card spot. Seattle will look for their second straight sweep and 9th consecutive win in the finale of the three-game series with the Chicago White Sox (49-77) on Wednesday at 11:10am. George Kirby (10-8, 3.23 ERA) will look to right the ship after giving up eight hits and four runs his last time out in Kansas City. Kirby will be making his first start in his career against Chicago. Michael Kopech (5-11, 5.12 ERA) will have the unenviable task of slowing down the Mariner lineup in the finale. Kopech got lit up in Colorado his last time out, giving up nine runs in four innings. Kopech is the kind of pitcher however that can turn it on at any point and turn in a dominant performance.
- Josh Rojas- 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
- Mike Ford- 2-2, RBI, R, BB
- Bryan Woo (ND)- 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
- Andrew Vaughn- 2-4, RBI, R
- Andrew Benintendi- 1-4, HR, RBI, R, BB
- Mike Clevinger (L, 5-6)- 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO