CHICAGO – Mariners manager Eric Wedge wanted to see what his team could do with a full nine innings.
Tyler Flowers hit a go-ahead homer just before the final downpour and the Chicago White Sox beat Seattle 4-3 in a rain-shortened game Sunday for their sixth straight victory.
The young Mariners lost all three games in the series by one run.
“I wish we could have finished it off,” Wedge said. “Our kids are playing so hard right now. They’re fighting. We could have won all three of these games, too. We’ll be better for it.”
Immediately following a 6-minute rain delay in the seventh inning, Flowers launched a two-run shot off Kevin Millwood to lead first-place Chicago to its second consecutive series sweep.
Rain continued to pour until the tarp was put on to stay two batters later, and the game was called after a wait of nearly 2 hours.
The start was delayed for 1 hour, 51 minutes due to showers that persisted throughout the game before it was finally stopped.
Capser Wells hit a two-run homer for Seattle. Millwood (4-11) allowed four runs – three earned – over 6 2/3 innings. He has just one win in his last 16 starts.
“He was throwing the ball great, making pitches. He was commanding the game,” Wedge said. “We didn’t help him early. They scored runs early because we gave it to them.”
Millwood gave up the go-ahead homer on his second pitch to Flowers immediately after the short delay. The right-hander returned to the dugout during the brief stoppage as workers tended to the field.
“It was just weird, different,” Millwood said. “I thought (the umpire) said they were going to put the tarp on. Then they just put the Diamond Dry on or whatever. I don’t think anybody really knew what to do, just kind of standing around. Either way, it didn’t affect what happened.”
Nate Jones (7-0) escaped a seventh-inning jam after inheriting runners on first and third with nobody out. He earned his second win in two days.
The young flamethrower struck out Trayvon Robinson looking after inducing a pair of soft popups. The Mariners had won 10 of 11 before being swept by Chicago.
“You can’t draw this up. Guys just battled,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “With everybody in the bullpen and what they’re doing, it’s nice.”
Wells’ two-run homer off Hector Santiago in the fifth following Justin Smoak’s leadoff single gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead. Wells’ eighth home run snapped an 0-for-16 slump.
“I kind of had an intuitive thought he’d be throwing a changeup,” Wells said. “He likes his changeup a lot and he left one up enough for me to get a good part of the bat on it and luckily it went out of the ballpark.”
The Mariners were swept for the eighth time this season, but only twice since the All-Star break.
“If we had a little more time, who knows what could have happened?” Wells said.