Todd Frazier looked all kinds of awful against Seattle starter James Paxton. He came to the plate three times, and struck out three times.
When the Mariners bullpen entered? Different story.
Frazier faced a Mariner reliever twice, and twice he came through with a huge single. In the seventh, he hooked a Steve Cishek slider through the left side for a game-tying two-run single with two outs. And in the ninth, he lined a Nick Vincent sinker over the head of third baseman Shawn O'Malley for the walk-off blow.
That hit capped off a fun comeback against the contending Mariners, as the White Sox trailed 6-3 through six.
They lucked out by facing Paxton, who was coming off a DL stint forced by a bruised forearm. Paxton shut the Sox down after a rocky first inning, but Scott Servais limited him to 90 pitches and five innings. That brought the front end of the Seattle bullpen into the fray, and Arquimedes Caminero was the weak link.
In Caminero’s defense, the defense let him down, as J.B. Shuck started the inning by reaching on a Ketel Marte error. Then again, Nori Aoki came through with one of his trademarked unusual efforts that resulted in a diving catch that withstood a challenge. That should have reset the inning, but Caminero walked Adam Eaton and gave up a ringing double to Tim Anderson that cut the lead to 6-4.
Caminero caught another break, as the ball bounded over the center-field fence and forced Eaton to hold up at third. That bad bounce almost cost the Sox, as Cishek came in and struck out Jose Abreu for the second out. Cishek, though, fell into a 2-0 count against Frazier, and his attempt at throwing a slider to get back into the count caught too much of the plate. Frazier ripped it through the left side, and both Eaton and Anderson scored to knot the game at 6.
Two innings later, Robin Ventura called his number again by taking the bat out of Abreu’s hands. Eaton reached with a bloop single, then moved to second on an Anderson bunt that opened a base for an intentional walk. Frazier once again got ahead 2-0, and although he swung through that pitch, he was able to get enough of the 2-1 sinker and drop it down the line in left for the winner.
David Robertson picked up the win, pitching around a walk and three dolts who ran on the field and caused a lengthy delay for a scoreless ninth.
In turn, the Sox offense got Anthony Ranaudo off the hook. The first inning ultimately set the course for the game. The Mariners took an immediate 1-0 lead on a walk and a double, and two productive flyouts scored a second run.
The Sox answered against Paxton, who was knocking off the rust. Eaton, Anderson and Abreu opened with singles to cut the lead in half, and Avisail Garcia came through with another run-scoring hit two batters later. Justin Morneau loaded the bases with a single of his own, and Navarro put the Sox ahead with a sac fly.
Both starters settled down, but Ranaudo gave up a game-tying homer to Robinson Cano in the fourth, and struggled against the Seattle lineup the third time through. Eaton flagged down a smoked Seth Smith liner to start the sixth, but Cano singled, as did Nelson Cruz and Adam Lind, the last of which gave the Mariners a 4-3 lead.
Ranaudo’s night ended with a bases-loading walk to Mike Zunino, and Dan Jennings couldn’t limit the damage, giving up a two-run single to Leonys Martni on his first pitch.
Fortunately, the White Sox bullpen found a groove as a group, Ranaudo's runners aside. Matt Albers stranded a runner he inherited from Jennings in the seventh, and Nate Jones pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.
*It was another big game from the top of the order, as Eaton and Anderson combined to go 5-for-8 with a double, a walk, five runs scored and an RBI.
*Jason Benetti is on the Condor train.