The White Sox had a formula for scoring: single, steal second, score on a double.
Unfortunately, Avisail Garcia was the only one who could start these rallies, and he could only do it twice. Meanwhile, James Paxton outpitched fellow James Shields, handing the White Sox a loss to open the second half.
If you were concerned about the pitching being tough to watch after the Jose Quintana trade, Shields wasn’t bad. He pitched six innings, and while he gave up four runs, three of them came on one Robinson Cano swing, turning a 1-0 White Sox lead into a 3-1 deficit in the third inning. David Holmberg, Chris Beck and Dan Jennings combined to throw three scoreless innings. The game was over in two hours and 50 minutes. It was watchable.
The offense was the bigger issue, as Paxton and three Mariners relievers combined to strike out 15 White Sox hitters. Tony Zych, Nick Vincent and Edwin Diaz each pitched a perfect inning, and they each struck out two Sox while doing it. (Conversely, the four Sox pitchers only struck out two Mariners on the evening.)
The Sox did all their damage off Paxton. Garcia, who entered the game in a 1-for-30 slump, came up with two singles in this one and scored both times. In the second, he singled with one out, took second two batters later on a stolen base and scored on a Tyler Saladino ground-rule double.
In the fourth, Garcia again singled with one out, again stole second, and again scored, this time on a Davidson double that made it a 3-2 game. Alas, those sequences accounted for four of the White Sox’ five hits, and the Mariners tacked on a run with a wild pitch in the fifth for the game’s final score.