Mariners Game Recap: Chris Sale Reigns Supreme in Battle of Aces

Seattle Mariners
4
Chicago White Sox
11

The Chicago White Sox (57-63) embarrassed the Seattle Mariners (56-66) in the series opener on Friday night, although the M’s did a pretty good job of that on their own. The Pale Hose won 11-4 this evening. Chris Sale (12-7, 3.34 ERA) was credited with the win for Chicago. Felix Hernandez (14-8, 3.74 ERA) took the loss for the Mariners in the 75th edition of Kings Court.

Neither team generated any offense during the first 3 innings. The White Sox pushed a run across in the 4th, and they extended their lead to 2 runs in the following frame. Chicago doubled their lead in the 6th, scoring a pair of runs on a Carlos Sanchez double.  Seattle came storming back in the home half of the 7th. Trailing 4-0, the Mariners plated 3 runs to shrink the Sox lead to 1. However, the newfound optimism was short-lived as the SouthSiders exploded for 4 runs in the 8th. The visitors added 3 more runs in the 9th to make it an 11-3 game. Nelson Cruz hit a solo home run in the 9th for Seattle, but it was too little too late.

Felix Hernandez allowed 4 runs on 9 hits across 6 innings of work this evening. King Felix struck out 4 and walked 1 in a losing effort. Hernandez was considerably better than his last time out, although he couldn’t have been much worse than he was last weekend in Boston. Something is still not right with the Mariners’ ace. I am convinced a foot/ankle injury is to blame for his troubles this year, and I am starting to think shutting him down for the remainder of the season is the best course of action. This season is over, and it makes no sense to risk further injury right now.

Danny Farquhar came in for Seattle in the 7th, and proceeded to keep the White Sox off the scoreboard. Lord Farquhar was recalled from Tacoma last weekend, and he has done a nice job all week for the M’s. Fernando Rodney and his Rum Tum Tugger inspired facial hair entered the game in the 8th. Not surprisingly, things did not go well for the worst reliever in baseball. Rodney allowed Chicago to load the bases with only 1 out before giving way to Rob Ramussen. The 26-year-old lefty did not fare well either, walking in a pair of runs and allowing 2 more runs to score on a single to right field. David Rollins was useless as well, surrendering 3 runs in 1.1 innings. This bullpen is an unmitigated disaster.

Mark Trumbo was the Mariners’ offense tonight. The 29-year-old muscled up on a Chris Sale changeup, crushing a 3-run blast to right field in the 7th inning. Trumbo has now homered in back-to-back games. Nelson Cruz extended his American League leading on base streak to 31 games with a single leading off the 7th. Cruz also clubbed his 37th home run of the season in the 9th. Ketel Marte finished 2 for 4 with a double in the series opener.

Chris Sale was electric on Friday night, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits across 7 innings of work. The 26-year-old southpaw struck out 14 and walked 1. He had a 1-hitter working through 6 innings, but a rough final frame hurt his stat line. Zach Duke registered a scoreless 8th inning, but was unable to duplicate his success in the 9th. Duke allowed 1 run in 2 innings of work.

Carlos Sanchez had the game of his life tonight, and led the White Sox offensively. The 23-year-old second baseman went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and a career high 4 RBI. Tyler Flowers also had a nice night, going 2 for 4 with a 3 runs batted in. Another standout performer was Tyler Saladino, who went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI.

Aug 21, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon (23) speaks with first base and crew chief umpire Gary Cederstrom (38) following th top of the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Lloyd McClendon had apparently had enough of watching this team play, and selfishly earned himself an early exit after arguing balls and strikes in the 8th inning. The M’s had already allowed 4 runs to cross the plate in the inning before the pathetic outburst. The catastrophic inning was McClendon’s fault, as he refuses to give up on the walking disaster known as Fernando Rodney. It was laughable to argue balls and strikes, as Rodney and Rasmussen were missing the strike zone by feet not inches. I firmly believe Lloyd is a good person, but he has proven himself to be a terrible manager in 2015. Hopefully fans will not be subjected to anymore embarrassing tantrums from McClendon in Seattle.

Seattle continues to sink in the American League West standings. The M’s now trail the division leading Houston Astros by a whopping 10 games. They are also 7 games out in the wildcard hunt. The Mariners’ playoff window is all but closed, and yet no one on the field appears to care.

The Seattle Mariners (56-66) will attempt to even the series with the Chicago White Sox (57-63) on Saturday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Vidal Nuno (0-1, 3.67 ERA) will be tasked with getting the Mariners back on track. Carlos Rodon (5-5, 4.42 ERA) will get the ball for the White Sox. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

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