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Jun 13, 2024 7:21 am

After 10th-inning heroics, Mariners seek sweep vs. woeful White Sox

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Pinch-hitting might be a dying art, but Seattle’s Mitch Haniger and the Chicago White Sox’s Luis Robert Jr. showed Wednesday night it’s not completely lost.

Robert hit a leadoff homer in the ninth inning and Haniger brought home the winning run in the 10th as the Mariners won 2-1.

The American League West-leading Mariners, winners of four straight, will go after a sweep of the four-game series Thursday night in Seattle. The White Sox, who have the worst record in the majors, have lost four in a row and 18 of 20 and are 5-29 on the road.

Haniger stepped to the plate with one out and runners at first and second. After falling behind 0-2, he fouled off four two-strike pitches and got the count even at 2-2.

Haniger blooped the ninth pitch of the at-bat into right field, scoring automatic runner Luke Raley, who homered earlier, from second.

“Pinch-hitting is not easy and the stats show that,” said Haniger, who is 4-for-16 in his career in that situation. “You just go up there and compete. It’s not an easy thing to do. You just have to stay within yourself.”

Mariners manager Scott Servais praised Haniger’s “will” to get the ball in play.

“It wasn’t smoked by any chance, but you got to get it in play,” Servais said.

Robert “smoked” his opportunity as he lined the first pitch of the ninth inning from Mariners reliever Mike Baumann over the left field wall, tying the score at 1-1.

“I knew the game was tight and I knew there was a chance I could pinch-hit,” said Robert, who is now 1-for-3 in the role. “But I’m not really used to that situation. I just went there and tried to make contact. I was fortunate enough I was able to do so.”

Added Servais: “He’s a really good player and we threw it in his wheelhouse. I’m glad it didn’t cost us the game.”

The clutch at-bats overshadowed sterling pitching performances by right-handers Jonathan Cannon of Chicago and Bryce Miller of Seattle.

Miller pitched seven shutout innings, giving up just two hits. He walked two and struck out eight.

The rookie Cannon, in search of his first major league victory, nearly matched Miller. Cannon allowed one run on four hits over seven innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts.

There might be more of the same Thursday as White Sox lefty Garrett Crochet (6-5, 3.33 ERA) is set to go up against Mariners ace Luis Castillo (5-7, 3.35).

Crochet beat Boston 7-2 on Friday to snap the White Sox’s franchise-record 14-game losing streak. Crochet allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over six innings, with two walks and 10 strikeouts. He is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in two career relief appearances against the Mariners.

Castillo, who is 1-0, 2.33 in three career starts against the White Sox, is coming off a rough outing in Kansas City in which he allowed five runs on six hits over five innings in an 8-4 loss Saturday. That snapped Castillo’s streak of 10 straight starts with two or fewer earned runs allowed.

–Field Level Media

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