Reliever laments pitch to Martin hit for game-winning HR
By Maddie Lee
SEATTLE -- Dan Jennings stood on the mound in the 11th inning with a plan. He had thrown three straight sliders to Leonys Martin for two strikes and a foul ball. He shook off catcher Dioner Navarro. He wanted to throw another one.
"I had beaten him on a couple sliders before, and I just felt like if I put that in the dirt then he either takes it or he swings through it," Jennings said. "Obviously I didn't put it in the dirt."
Martin drove the 85.8-mph slider over the right-field fence for the White Sox second walk-off loss in a three-game series against the Mariners, this time a 6-5, 11-inning defeat at Safeco Field, as the bullpen gave up a 5-2 sixth-inning lead.
"Just not a good feeling, letting the guys down like that," Jennings said. "It was not a good pitch at all. It was completely on me. Nav even called something else and I shook to it, so that magnifies how much it's truly on me."
It wasn't all on him. Out of four relievers, David Robertson, who didn't allow a hit in the ninth, was the only one to hold the Mariners scoreless.
Zach Duke allowed an inherited base runner and one of his own to score on Mike Zunino's two-run home run in the seventh, which put the Mariners within one run. Nate Jones gave up the tying run the next inning on Adam Lind's homer. Jennings was just the guy whose mistake gave him the loss.
"Jonesy's very reliable," manger Robin Ventura said. "He's still going to be in there. Robby bounced back, had a nice inning. And from there, these guys, they can hit some homers. That's evident for us.
"When you lose, it's always hard to sit there and criticize [the bullpen] and beat them up. They know what happened."
Going into the game, the White Sox bullpen was ranked fourth in the American League with a 3.43 ERA.
Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.