In many ways, this game followed the same outline as Friday’s affair — the White Sox giving up the lead in the middle innings, Nelson Cruz homered, capped off by an inability to strike against the Seattle bullpen.
This one had more missed opportunities on the White Sox’ end, though. It was a 4-3 loss, but the Sox could’ve scored seven or eight runs. The Sox outhit Seattle 8-6, they had the edge in baserunners and errors ... but they went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
The best way to sum up the White Sox’ attack? Felix Hernandez twice plunked Jose Abreu to load the bases with nobody out, and they could only score one run between those opportunities. And, of course, the run scored on a Todd Frazier double play, so no RBIs were awarded.
Meanwhile, another Mike Pelfrey start where his best effort fell one out short of the fifth inning left a lot of road to hoe for the bullpen, and Anthony Swarzak was the one to give it up. OK, Dan Jennings issued the leadoff walk to Robinson Cano to start the inning, but it was Swarzak’s challenge fastball on 3-2 that ended up in the left-center bleachers, giving the Mariners a 4-3 lead.
The White Sox had a couple opportunities to make it a new ballgame. In th esixth, Tim Anderson singled with one out, then took second on an errant pickoff by Steve Cishek. Rick Renteria was ejected for the sixth time this season, arguing that Anderson should have gotten a two-base award since the ball went to the dugout. Tom Hallion ejected Renteria as he was walking away, and Renteria reversed course to have a good ol’ fashioned screaming match.
Anywhoozle, Anderson took third on Kevan Smith’s groundout to the right side, and Adam Engel drew a walk to bring Melky Cabrera to the plate, but Cabrera grounded into a 4-3 to end the threat.
It’s hard to point fingers at Cabrera, thoguh. He led off the first with a homer, added an RBI single in the third, and then singled with two outs off Edwin Diaz in the ninth. Diaz looked like he was leaking oil -- Alen Hanson came about two feet from a double to the right-field corner to start the inning, Adam Engel just got under a hittable slider, followed by Cabrera shooting his single through the right side. Then Diaz walked Avisail Garcia on five pitches to bring Abreu to the plate.
Diaz missed with one slider before getting Abreu to swing over one. Abreu then looked at a second and swung over a third to end the game in what a poor at-bat. Diaz couldn’t come close to the zone with his fastball, so it seemed like Abreu should’ve been sitting on his slider, but he never tracked it well.
*Cabrera went 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot with two runs and two RBIs. He paired well with Engel batting ninth, as the speedster reached on an error and stole a base before coming home on a Cabrera single.
*Frazier and Abreu combined for a nifty 5-3. Frazier made a nifty barehanded pickup on a spinning chopper and fired to Abreu, who crossed over to catch the throw on the other side of the line and tapping his toe on the bag before the runner crossed.