The Seattle Mariners, who have won nine of 11, started a seven-game road trip with a 9-3 win over the American League Central-leading Chicago White Sox on Friday.
Seattle will aim to keep rolling — and get to four games above .500 for the first time since April — when the three-game series resumes on Saturday afternoon.
“I’ll go back to what I said at the beginning of the year: I felt our club was going to continue to get better as the season progressed,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “As players gained more experience and confidence, or they settled into roles in the bullpen, whatever is going to be, I thought we would play better as the season goes on.
“I say that, and we’re not at the halfway point yet. We’re close. But I like the way we’re trending. We are building a ton of confidence that should help play out through the remainder of the season. Now, we need to stay healthy.”
Seattle smacked a trio of two-run home runs Friday to hand the skidding White Sox their sixth loss in seven games. Luis Torrens went deep twice.
Chicago has been outscored 45-18 during the seven-game slide.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu went 0-for-3 and is batting .197 (12-for-61) with one home run in his past 15 games.
“It sure seems to me that he’s dealing with some pain issues that he wants to play through,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said. “We’re going to talk to him about (how) there’s still three-plus months to go and at some point, is it better to back off a little bit.”
The White Sox fell to 27-13 at home with the Friday loss. The team returned to full capacity for the game, however, billing the game as “ReOpening Night.”
A crowd of 32,189 was in attendance.
“The players have talked about it all year long, even when it was at whatever the percentage was, they were so loud, it felt like it was two, three times the number of people here,” La Russa said. “Fans have already made their presence felt and have been part of our success at home.”
Right-hander Lance Lynn (7-3, 2.14 ERA) will try to end a two-start losing streak as he gets the call for Chicago on Saturday. Lynn is seeking his first victory since June 3.
After allowing no more than three runs in his first 12 starts this season, Lynn struggled mightily at Houston on June 19, allowing six runs and eight hits in four innings.
Lynn is 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners.
Rookie righty Logan Gilbert (2-2, 4.50 ERA) is set to get the call for Seattle. Gilbert is 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in three June starts. He is coming off a no-decision against Tampa Bay on June 19, when he allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford went 2-for-6 Friday and enters Saturday on an 11-game hitting streak.
–Field Level Media