Frazier ties it, wins it as White Sox edge Mariners
By Greg Johns and Scott Merkin
CHICAGO -- As far as the Mariners are concerned, they can't change the name of U.S. Cellular Field soon enough. A day after the White Sox announced they'll be renaming the facility Guaranteed Rate Field for next season, Seattle's struggles on the South Side continued as Todd Frazier singled in Adam Eaton for a 7-6 walk-off win on Thursday night.
Frazier delivered his third RBI of the game with one out in the ninth inning off reliever Nick Vincent as the White Sox rallied from a 6-3 deficit over the final three frames.
Perhaps a name change will exorcise the demons, as the Mariners are 7-26 at U.S. Cellular since 2008. Their latest loss proved costly, dropping them 7 1/2 back of the Rangers in the American League West and kept them three back of the Orioles for the AL's second Wild Card berth at 67-60.
"Everybody played hard. They didn't give up at all tonight," said White Sox closer David Robertson, who improved to 4-2 as the White Sox improved to 61-65. "We pitched well enough to win and had timely hitting. A few things went our way, a couple errors that really ended up giving us a few runs. A few things went our way and it was great to pick up a win."
Mariners southpaw James Paxton overcame a shaky start to get through five innings with a 6-3 lead in his first outing since getting nailed by a line drive in the elbow Aug. 7. Paxton allowed three runs in the first, but held the White Sox in check for the rest of his outing. Chicago scored three unearned runs off reliever Arquimedes Caminero to tie the game in the seventh as Frazier delivered the big blow with a two-run single.
That was the inning that gave the White Sox life as shortstop Ketel Marte booted a leadoff grounder by J.B. Shuck and Caminero walked Eaton with one out to set up the comeback.
"Those things will bite you," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "You give teams more than three outs in an inning and it'll come back to bite you and it did tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Not so fast: Seattle jumped to a 2-0 lead against Ranaudo in the top of the first, but the White Sox offense didn't let that advantage last long. Eaton, Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Justin Morneau all knocked out singles, and Dioner Navarro added a sacrifice fly as the White Sox scored three times. That damage could have been worse if not for Norichika Aoki's diving catch in left on Navarro's line drive.
Flipping the switch: After seven of the first 11 White Sox batters reached base via six singles and a walk, Paxton got out of the second with a scalding double-play line drive by Abreu that was hit right at Robinson Cano behind the bag at second, allowing him to easily double Tyler Saladino off second and preserve the 3-2 lead. But from there, Paxton turned things around and retired nine straight before a two-out single in the fifth. Though he was removed after that inning, the 27-year-old Canadian was in position for the win until the White Sox tallied their three unearned runs in the seventh. Paxton thus remains 4-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 14 starts.
"That was huge," Paxton said of Abreu's double-play line shot. "I ducked that one. Didn't get hit by that one, which was good. Then Robbie was right there, which was awesome. That was big time, getting out of that inning and getting reset and kind of just going from there." More >
Cano keeps crankin': The Mariners' second baseman tied the game at 3 with a homer off Ranaudo leading off the fourth. Cano ripped a 2-1 changeup into the right-field seats for his 29th homer, which ties the second-highest single-season mark of his prolific career and is just six shy of his total in his first two seasons combined in Seattle. Cano's best was 33 homers in 2012 with the Yankees. Cano went 2-for-4 and is 9-for-16 in his past four games to hike his average to .298.
Timmy Baseball: The strong rookie campaign for Anderson took another step forward with three hits, two runs scored and one RBI. Anderson contributed to a three-run seventh off Caminero by hitting a 2-0, 99-mph fastball down the middle for a long ground-rule double to center to score Shuck.
"He had a great night, He changed the complexion of that inning," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "The kid's out there throwing hard, he walks somebody but that one set up the inning for us. Timmy's been swinging it. A lot of things he's done well, offensively he went through a little bit of a rut but right now this is a pretty good run for him."
"It was tough. Once is fine, but twice, that makes it harder." -- Aoki, on his ninth-inning at-bat that was twice interrupted by fans running on the field
"There wasn't anything else to do. I can't go sit in the dugout. I just kind of had to figure out where I was in the game and make a couple of pitches and give myself out of a bad situation." -- Robertson, on dealing with the same ninth-inning situation when facing Aoki
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Frazier was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts against Vincent in his career before his game-winning single.
THAT'S A CATCH
Saladino's blooper to left field with one on and nobody out in the seventh originally was ruled an out via a great diving catch by Aoki. Ventura challenged the ruling and after video review, the call stood although it looked as if the ball might have hit the ground just before Aoki's glove.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners:Felix Hernandez (8-4, 3.26 ERA) gets the start in Friday's 5:10 p.m. PT game at U.S. Cellular Field. The Mariners' ace is 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA in seven starts since coming off the DL and has been particularly sharp in his past few outings. He's 4-6 with a 3.97 ERA in 17 career meetings with the White Sox.
White Sox:Chris Sale makes up the White Sox half of this aces-high matchup Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Sale had gone six starts without picking up a victory, posting a 4.43 ERA during that stretch, before throwing eight scoreless innings against the A's on 120 pitches for win No. 15.