Despite a Mitch Haniger three run homer with their backs against the wall, the Seattle Mariners were forced to settle for a mere two out of three in their tiny Midwest road trip against the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox. The seven inning game was a semi-planned bullpen game, with Marco Gonzales on paternity leave and the organizational thinning in the high minors leaving the M’s in a tough spot. It all added up to an unsurprising 7-5 loss Sunday afternoon.
Tough spots make for tough spot starts like the one Robert Dugger provided, failing to work three full innings and yielding a pair of earned runs (three total) and a slew of hard contact before the B-team of the bullpen took a crack at things. Will Vest and Rafael Montero had no better luck, and despite keeping the ball in the park all game, seven walks and not nearly enough missed bats in key moments sunk Seattle into a 7-1 hole by the bottom of the 4th.
The only offensive bright spot was Mitch Haniger, who doubled in the sixth to break up a no-hitter (albeit not one MLB would have recognized as official) with a line drive double, then clobbered a three run home run in the top of the seventh to allow the M’s a gasping breath of hope. It was not to be, but Seattle played with house money thrice this series and leaves town with more coins in their pocket than they entered.
Despite the disappointing finale, the M’s get another off day Monday to rest their pen, and have guaranteed at least a .500 record at the midway point of the season. Are they that good? I’m not sure, but they’re not abysmal, and they’re not uninteresting. I will take it.