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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Mariners use 7-run inning to avoid sweep, top White Sox 8-4

UPDATED: Wed., April 7, 2021

Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager hits a three-run double during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Seattle.  (Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager hits a three-run double during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Seattle. (Associated Press)
By Tim Booth Associated Press

SEATTLE – Kyle Seager became the beneficiary of Ty France’s ability to be a pest at the plate.

Seager slapped an opposite-field, bases-clearing double for the big blow in Seattle’s seven-run sixth inning, and the Mariners avoided a sweep with an 8-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Seager had three hits, and his two-out liner down the left-field line cleared the bases as the Mariners posted their highest-scoring inning of the young season. But Seager got his chance at hitting in the inning because France refused to relent.

“That was an incredible at-bat. He worked him like crazy,” Seager said.

France fell behind 0-2, fouled off four two-strike pitches and walked on the 11th pitch of the at-bat from Chicago’s Matt Foster to keep the inning alive for Seager.

“It’s pretty awesome to watch. He did not back down. He was not going to give in,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He kept fighting, fighting, fighting and ended up with the walk, and kind of opened the flood gates after that.”

Taylor Trammell, J.P. Crawford and Jose Marmolejos all had RBI singles in the inning, and Mitch Haniger added a sacrifice fly.

Almost all of that damage came off Foster, who took over after Dallas Keuchel allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach. Foster (0-1) recorded just two outs, and allowed five hits and five earned runs before getting lifted.

Chicago manager Tony La Russa said he mismanaged the inning and left Foster in for too long.

“That’s probably the clearest example why I’m upset with myself, (Foster) faced too many hitters,” La Russa said.

Keuchel allowed three runs, struck out three and walked three in his second start of the season.

Seattle starter Justin Dunn allowed only one hit, but couldn’t finish the fifth inning due to control problems. Dunn walked eight in 4 2/3 innings, including a bases loaded walk to Yasmani Grandal that ended his day. Andrew Vaughn greeted Will Vest (1-0) with a two-run single, and Danny Mendick added an RBI single an inning later.

But that was all the White Sox could manage. Chicago failed to score after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh as Luis Robert lined into a double play that ended the threat.

“We were in a really good position going into the sixth inning and the best way to explain the sixth, I mean I did a really lousy job of managing that inning,” La Russa said.

Dunn’s eight walks were the most by a Seattle starting pitcher since Travis Blackley walked nine vs. Oakland in July 2004. The franchise record by a starter is 11 by Rick Jones in Seattle’s expansion season of 1977. Hall of Famer Randy Johnson walked 10 twice during his time with the Mariners.

Seattle pitchers walked 10 batters total. Dunn said he felt comfortable throwing out of the wind-up but had issues pitching out of the stretch.

“Probably put a little too much emphasis on controlling the running game and not executing pitches and to started to get a little too fine,” Dunn said.

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