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Mariners 7, White Sox 6 (10 innings): Swept by Seattle

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This time, Sox blow 5-0 lead before Nelson Cruz homers in extras

Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

It’s a familiar story by now -- Mariners, blown lead in middle innings, Nelson Cruz homer, inability to break Seattle’s bullpen, so on and so forth.

This one was teased out to extremes, though. For one, the White Sox pounded Andrew Moore for three homers and a 5-0 lead through three innings. They also found a way to tag a run to Seattle’s relief corps, given an extended chance.

And yet they still lost, because Derek Holland has a hard time making it multiple times through the order, with help from a three-error game by his defense.

Still, most of it was on Holland. He survived a flurry of deep flyouts early on, but two of them left the yard on his watch. The first was a Kyle Seager solo shot in the fourth inning, and the bigger blow was a three-run homer to Danny Valencia that tied the game at 5 in the fifth.

Perhaps the inning would’ve been different had Tim Anderson not flipped wildly to second base in an ill-advised attempt to start a double play, and instead took the out at second. That loaded the bases with nobody out. Holland survived a lashed line drive to left by Jean Segura, which was merely a sac fly, but Valencia’s drive was much higher, and thus left the yard.

That made it a brand new ballgame, and both characteristics followed the Sox into the sixth. Holland alternated outs and singles to start the sixth, but ended up with runners on second and third because Alen Hanson bobbled the ball in center, then threw wildly to third for a double error. Anthony Swarzak then came in and threw a wild pitch to give the Mariners a 6-5 lead.

The Sox tied it in the seventh. Hanson atoned for his error with a leadoff double, took third on a sac bunt, then found a way to reclaim third after Melky Cabrera’s hot shot was snagged by Seager. It was a great play by Hanson to dive safely back into the bag, and it was a great play by Seager to recover in time to throw out Cabrera at first. For all that effort, it only delayed the run, as Abreu capitalized with a double past Seager to make it a 6-6 game.

But the Sox couldn’t do any more damage against Seattle’s bullpen, even though their own bullpen gave them a 10th inning to try. Chris Beck gave up the game-winning homer to Nelson Cruz after scoreless innings by Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson, and Cruz was the only batter Beck faced.

Edwin Diaz recorded his third save in as many days by embarrassing the heart of the order, striking out the side without much competition. The White Sox scored just one run against Seattle relievers in 14 innings this series.

Perhaps they beat up on Moore too quickly. Avisail Garcia homered in back-to-back innings, delivering a solo shot in the second and a two-run shot in the third. In between, Omar Narvaez hit his first homer of the season, turning on a down-and-in Moore fastball for a two-run shot.

Besides the homers, they also made Moore work. He threw 75 pitches over his three innings and only struck out a batter.

Bullet points:

*While the Sox committed three errors, they also came up with a couple of remarkable plays. Holland became Mulholland when he caught Robinson Cano’s bouncer behind his back and tossed his glove to first.

*And while Anderson made a dumb error in the fifth inning, he and Yolmer Sanchez combined for a beautiful 6-4-3 double play to erase a leadoff HBP by Robertson.

*It’s going to be a long second half.

Record: 38-52 | Box score | Highlights