Mariners can’t catch the Cubs

Seattle Mariners rookie Brad Miller 'rounds first base after hitting his first major-league hit, a double in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday in Seattle. The Cubs won, 7-6. (Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners rookie Brad Miller 'rounds first base after hitting his first major-league hit, a double in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday in Seattle. The Cubs won, 7-6. (Associated Press)

SEATTLE — Jeremy Bonderman spotted the Chicago Cubs an early lead too big for a late rally by his Seattle Mariners teammates to overcome.

Seattle’s starter left in the fourth inning as the Cubs were building a six-run lead, and home runs by Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez and Kyle Seager weren’t enough to finish the Seattle comeback as Chicago held on for a 7-6 win Sunday.

“It was a battle all day and just not the way I anticipated the outing going,” Bonderman said. “No excuses.”

The Cubs tied a season high with six doubles, including two each by Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney.

Edwin Jackson (4-10) pitched into the seventh inning, allowing three runs and seven hits and striking out six. Kevin Gregg pitched a hitless ninth for his 13th save.

Mariners shortstop Brad Miller doubled twice for his first major league hits in his third game.

“It was a little weight lifted there because I wanted to get in the swing of things and help out,” Miller said. “It’s been fun — everything has been awesome. I’m just trying to get my feet wet and get comfortable and go out and play.”

Bonderman (1-2) was chased after giving up six runs — four earned — and six hits in 3 1-3 innings. It was his shortest start since going 2 1-3 innings on July 29, 2007 with Detroit.

The loss was the first for Bonderman since being called up June 2 and making his first major league appearance since 2010. That time out, he gave up seven runs in 4 2-3 innings, but since he had been on a roll, giving up a total of four runs in the four starts before Sunday.

“He never really got it going today,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s a battler, he kept trying to find it and get through it. But ultimately we had to get him out of there.”

Bonderman’s trouble against the Cubs started in the second inning when the Cubs doubled four times, leading to three runs. Soriano and Rizzo led off the inning with doubles, and with one out Brian Bogusevic and Barney hit consecutive RBI doubles.

Bonderman ran into another jam in the third, loading the bases with two outs when he hit Nate Schierholtz and walked two. He was able to escape that one without a run, but the reprieve was short-lived.

In the fourth, Barney led off with another double and scored when Wellington Castillo’s grounder to third went through Seager’s legs for a two-base error. Starlin Castro’s run-scoring single marked the end for Bonderman.

“I wasn’t missing totally,” Bonderman said. “I’d throw one good fastball in and then miss wildly back over.”

Reliever Blake Beavan gave up an RBI double to Soriano and another run on Rizzo’s single as the Cubs took a 7-1 lead. That was the end of the offense for Chicago, which managed only one hit over the final five innings as Beavan settled down to pitch through the eighth.

The Mariners scratched out their first run in the third. Henry Blanco singled, advanced to third on Endy Chavez’s double and scored on a groundout by Nick Franklin.

Miller led off the fifth inning with a double for his first major league hit and scored on Franklin’s single in the fifth to cut Chicago’s lead to 7-2. Bay hit his 10th home run to lead off the seventh inning, cutting the lead to 7-3.

Ibanez led off the eighth with his 19th homer of the season. Kendrys Morales singled and Seager broke an 0-for-19 slump with a deep home run down the right-field line to bring the Mariners within a run.

“We had our opportunities, fought back and got close,” Wedge said. “But that’s not good enough.”


Seattle CF Dustin Ackley should be able to return “in a couple days” after spraining his right thumb Saturday, manager Eric Wedge said. “All things considered, could be a lot worse,” Wedge said. … All 10 of Bay’s home runs have been solo homers. … Ibanez has 10 home runs in June, which ties his career high for any month. … Cubs OF Ryan Sweeney will be placed on the disabled list after breaking a rib on his left side crashing into an outfield wall. Sweeney will be held out of baseball activities for four to six weeks.

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