SEATTLE (AP) — Adam Eaton lasted one at-bat and aggravated an injury. Conor Gillaspie dropped an easy pop fly. Jose Quintana made one bad pitch and ended up with his first loss since the middle of June.
The Chicago White Sox are in quite a slump.
“Everything we’re going through, it’s just like you’re in a funk,” manager Robin Ventura said. “If it can go wrong, it’s going to go wrong.”
Mike Zunino hit a three-run homer, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched seven innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the White Sox 4-1 on Friday night, handing Chicago its fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games.
The White Sox have been outscored 55-13 over the past five games and allowed 71 total runs in eight games in August.
“A combination of we’re not playing that well, we’re playing a team that’s playing well and everything seems to be going right for them,” Ventura said.
Zunino moved into a tie for the major league lead in home runs by a catcher with his 18th of the season. Zunino’s opposite-field drive to right off Quintana in the fifth gave Seattle a 3-1 lead and came after Gillaspie dropped a popup from Logan Morrison. Kendrys Morales added a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
Iwakuma (10-6) overcame problems with command to become the third Seattle pitcher with double-digit victories this season. The Japanese right-hander allowed one run and five hits, struck out three and walked none.
Iwakuma improved to 5-2 with a 2.04 ERA in his last eight starts. He has pitched at least seven innings in his last seven outings.
“I didn’t have good stuff today. Not many of my pitches were working. I didn’t have command of each of my pitches,” Iwakuma said through an interpreter. “I was able to execute when I needed to but that’s how it was.”
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 35 opportunities as Seattle remained a half-game behind Kansas City for the second wild card in the American League.
Dayan Viciedo continued his success against Seattle with an opposite-field homer on the first pitch he saw from Iwakuma in the fourth, but that accounted for all of Chicago’s offense.
Quintana (6-8) retired 12 of his first 14 batters before falling apart in the fifth when Seattle sent nine batters to the plate. Chris Denorfia walked on four pitches to start the inning, followed by Gillaspie’s error. Quintana fell behind Zunino 2-0 and left a fastball elevated on the outer half of the plate.
“I tried to throw a good pitch away, but the ball ran right down the middle,” Quintana said. “I think that’s all on one pitch and that’s all for the game.”
CANO, CAN HIT
Seattle’s Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the seventh inning, matching a season high. He also stole his ninth base, setting a new career high. Cano is hitting .412 with two homers during the hit streak.
LONG BALL STREAK
Viciedo has homered in three consecutive games and has connected in three of five games against Seattle this season. It’s the third time in his career Viciedo has homered in three straight games.
Chicago: Eaton grounded out to start the game and walked slowly back to the dugout. He left with soreness in his rib cage and was replaced by Leury Garcia.
Eaton said he felt the discomfort on the first couple of swings.
“I’ve just got kind of a pain in my back and side, kind of rib area. Right side,” Eaton said. “I don’t know really what we’re going to do.”
Seattle: Utilityman Willie Bloomquist was lost for the season after a scope on Friday revealed that he needed microfracture surgery on his right knee. Bloomquist should be ready by spring training next season. Bloomquist had played six different field positions this season, but manager Lloyd McClendon said he doesn’t feel he needs a true utility player in the short term.
Chicago: Former Seattle pitcher Hector Noesi (6-8) will throw for the second time in his career against the Mariners. Noesi was designated for assignment earlier this season by Seattle, but has latched on with the White Sox and is scheduled to make his 19th start.
Seattle: Left-hander James Paxton (2-0) will make his second start after several setbacks that have limited him this season. Paxton threw 4 1-3 innings on Aug. 2 in Baltimore in his first start since April 8. Paxton first landed on the disabled list in April because of a strained lat muscle.