SEATTLE – This time around, the Mariners didn’t let their lead slip away. Almost, but not quite.
Robinson Cano had a two-run homer and Nelson Cruz doubled in two runs to help the Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox 8-6 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
“Like I told the guys in the dugout, it’s good to end it up with a happy Sunday,” Cano said. “You can have a nice evening. You don’t have to go to bed and, ‘What do we have to do win a game?’”
Seattle – which lost in extra innings on Saturday night after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth – built a 7-1 lead through five innings, but the White Sox cut it to 7-6 with five runs in the sixth behind a pair of two-run homers.
“It’s always nice to compete, make it a closer ballgame, but we came up a little bit short,” said first baseman Adam LaRoche, whose 12th homer brought the White Sox within a run.
The Mariners added a run in the eighth on Ketel Marte’s sacrifice fly.
Walker (9-7) got the victory despite allowing five runs on seven hits in 52/3 innings. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
John Danks (6-11) was tagged for seven runs on eight hits in five innings, dropping his road record to 2-8 with a 6.48 ERA in 12 road starts.
“I was behind a lot, deep counts trying to work my way back into it,” Danks said. “I’ve just got to be better at that.”
Cruz doubled in two runs to key a four-run third as the Mariners erased a 1-0 deficit. Mark Trumbo doubled to open the inning, advanced on Brad Miller’s sacrifice and scored on Jesus Sucre’s single. After Marte struck out, Austin Jackson singled and Cruz followed with a two-run double to right-center to make it 3-1. Franklin Gutierrez singled home Cruz.
In the fifth, Marte reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and came home on Jackson’s single to make it 5-1. With two out, Cano hit his 14th home run, a two-run shot over the wall in right.
“He elevated some balls and they put some good swings on it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Danks. “In the third, it just seemed like his ball was up, and they put good hacks on it and got something going. The big one was the home run from Cano. I think anytime he elevates and doesn’t work down in the zone, there’s going to be some issues.”
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second when LaRoche lined a one-out double to right and Alexei Ramirez followed with an RBI single.
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