SEATTLE – For the second straight outing, Seattle Mariners starter Kevin Millwood was unable to hold onto a lead in a game Seattle would go on to lose.
The Mariners rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 4-2 lead over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon. But the lead wouldn’t hold as the White Sox capitalized on Millwood’s mistakes in the sixth inning to retake the lead and earn a series sweep over the M’s with a 7-4 victory.
“It came down to the fact that when I need to make a pitch to get out of an inning or get out of a jam, I wasn’t able to do it,” Millwood (0-1) said. “I felt good, felt my stuff was good, I just didn’t make pitches when I needed to.”
In his previous start, the Mariners jumped out to a 8-1 lead against Cleveland before the Indians scored seven runs off Millwood to tie the game. Seattle went on to lose 9-8.
“Panic is definitely not the answer,” Millwood said of Seattle’s losing streak. “We’re a pitch here and there from holding teams down. It’s one of those things you’ve got to get through. Hopefully there will be more good stretches than bad.”
Adam Dunn drew a leadoff walk to start the sixth inning. Paul Konerko singled and after a groundout, Alex Rios tripled to even the game at 4.
A sacrifice fly by Kosuke Fukudome scored Rios from third and gave the White Sox a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Rios and Fukudome added RBI singles in the eighth against Tom Wilhelmsen.
“That was a big one,” manager Eric Wedge said. “But that’s where we have to come right back and go get them. When you give it up like that you have to come right back and answer.”
A day after Phil Humber pitched a perfect game for the White Sox, John Danks (2-2) went six innings for the win. Hector Santiago pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save, closing out Chicago’s 19th victory in its last 22 games against the Mariners and second consecutive sweep in Seattle.
The White Sox bullpen combined for three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five.
“They have some good lefties in their pen that really make it rough,” second baseman Dustin Ackley said.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead in the third on a double by Alexei Ramirez that left fielder Casper Wells misplayed for an error, and an RBI single by Dunn.
Seattle tied it in the bottom half. Chone Figgins led off with a walk and Ichiro Suzuki singled, setting up an RBI single by Jesus Montero and an RBI double by Alex Liddi.
Fukudome walked in the fourth and moved up on a wild pitch, but was thrown out at the plate by Suzuki on Brent Morel’s single to right field.
Miguel Olivo and Wells hit consecutive singles to lead off the fourth. With Brendan Ryan attempting to bunt, the infield was pulled up when Danks tried a pickoff throw at first that Dunn never saw coming. Danks’ error allowed Olivo to score and Dustin Ackley drove in a run with a grounder for a 4-2 lead.