Iwakuma allowed one run in seven innings and got a big boost from
catcher Mike Zunino's three-run homer as the Mariners beat the
struggling Chicago White Sox 4-1.
"Overall, I'm happy with the win and with the results," Iwakuma said
through an interpreter, "but I didn't have good stuff. I didn't have
good command of my pitches today."
Despite it all, Iwakuma (10-6) gave up two runs or fewer for the
seventh time in a span of eight starts, allowing five hits without
issuing a walk while helping extend the Mariners' winning streak to
The only run Iwakuma allowed came on a solo home run from Chicago
right fielder Dayan Viciedo, his third home run in as many games.
Zunino answered with a three-run shot during Seattle's four-run
fifth inning that put the Mariners ahead 4-1.
"We know if we score a few (runs), we have a chance of winning
because of our pitching staff and our bullpen," Zunino said. "We
just keep trying to score a few runs."
With the win, Seattle (61-54) kept pace in the American League
wild-card race. The Mariners trail Kansas City by a half-game for
the second wild-card spot.
Chicago (55-62) has now lost four games in a row, getting outscored
36-5 in the process.
"We just have to keep grinding; it's that simple," White Sox manager
Robin Ventura said. "When you're in a funk like this, you have to
dig down, be tough about it and find a way to win."
The worst news for the White Sox came in the abbreviated return of
center fielder Adam Eaton. Chicago's leadoff hitter returned to the
field after missing Thursday night's game with a bruised back but
barely made it through the first at-bat of the game.
Eaton saw eight pitches before hitting a grounder to third base, and
he was in so much discomfort that he didn't make it halfway to first
base on the throw. Eaton, who felt pain in his right rib cage,
gingerly walked off the field and was replaced by Leury Garcia in
center field in the bottom of the first.
"I think it was maybe the first or second swing of the at-bat,"
Eaton said after the game, adding that he felt fine during batting
practice before the game. "I felt it pretty heavily. I tried to take
a second out of the box, and then when I went back in there it was
just as painful. When I hit the ball, I couldn't even run to first.
So I knew right away that it wasn't good."
Ventura said the extent of the injury won't be known immediately.
The White Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Viciedo's solo shot in the
fourth inning. Seattle responded with Zunino's three-run homer in
the fifth that put the Mariners ahead 3-1. After right fielder Chris
Denorfia walked and first baseman Logan Morrison reached on a
dropped pop fly by Chicago third baseman Conor Gillaspie, Zunino hit
a 2-0 pitch into the right-field seats for his 18th home run of the
[to top of second column]
"Hopefully, it's something for me to build on for the rest of the series,"
said Zunino, who went 1-for-4 with three long flyouts to the warning
Seattle opened a 4-1 lead later in the fifth inning when designated
hitter Kendrys Morales hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to
score shortstop Chris Taylor from first base. Two of the Mariners' runs
during the four-run fifth were unearned, thanks to Gillaspie's error --
his second in two games.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana allowed seven hits and four runs in 5 2/3
innings, but only two of the runs were earned. Quintana (6-8) suffered
his first loss since June 13.
Iwakuma joined teammates Felix Hernandez and Chris Young to give the
Mariners three 10-game winners this season.
Mariners closer Fernando Rodney posted his 32nd save of the season after
pitching a scoreless ninth.
NOTES: Chicago activated RHP Zach Putnam from the 15-day disabled list
Friday. The White Sox had a roster spot available after optioning RHP
Andre Rienzo to Triple-A Charlotte late Thursday night. Putnam pitched a
scoreless eighth inning Friday. ... The Mariners, who optioned LHP
Roenis Elias to Triple-A after his Thursday start, promoted LHP Lucas
Luetge to add another arm to the bullpen until Seattle names a Sunday
starter. ... Seattle UT Willie Bloomquist underwent microfracture
surgery on his knee Friday, effectively ending his season. Bloomquist,
36, was scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery, but team doctors
discovered extensive damage to his right knee and performed a more
extensive procedure. Bloomquist could be ready to rehab in about six to
eight weeks. ... RHP Hector Noesi, who will start Saturday's game for
the White Sox, spent two years in the Seattle system, going 2-13 with a
5.79 ERA before he was traded him to Texas earlier this season. Noesi
threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 1-0 home win over the Mariners
earlier this season. ... The game featured bandmates on opposite ends of
the fan spectrum, as Pearl Jam guitarist Michael McCready sported
Mariners apparel while playing the national anthem on his guitar, and
lead singer Eddie Vedder came out of the Chicago clubhouse afterward
wearing a White Sox hat. Both musicians live in Seattle, although Vedder
spent a good part of his childhood in Chicago. ... Former Mariners
manager Lou Piniella will be honored before Saturday's game. Piniella
met with reporters during a Friday luncheon, one day before being added
to the Mariners' Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony.
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