Miranda struggles as Mariners fall to White Sox 9-3
CHICAGO (AP) — Ariel Miranda remembered faring better against White Sox slugger Jose Abreu when they met in their native Cuba.
Abreu homered in his first at-bat against the Seattle Mariners left-hander, and Chicago’s rout was on.
Abreu hit the first of four White Sox home runs and Jose Quintana threw 7 2/3 solid innings to lead Chicago past the Mariners 9-3 on Saturday night.
“I was trying to get ahead in the count and I couldn’t do it, so I fell behind in the count and I had to throw the ball down the middle and he made him pay for it,” Miranda said through an interpreter.
Miranda said he faced Abreu four or five times before.
“Today was a different story,” Miranda said.
Avisail Garcia and Alex Avila hit consecutive homers during a four-run fifth and Tyler Saladino added a two-run shot in the seventh, all off struggling reliever Vidal Nuno.
Abreu extended his hitting streak to 10 games and his on-base streak to 23 with a solo shot during a two-run first against Miranda (1-1).
The left-handed Miranda pitched four innings, allowing three runs and five hits while throwing just 47 of 90 pitches for strikes.
“The biggest thing was fastball command,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “That’s his pitch. He’s got to get them on the fastball before his secondary stuff plays into that, so he struggled to get going. All of the outings he’d had for us, tonight was probably his worst one.”
Quintana (11-9) allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits, struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 2.77 in Chicago’s fifth win in seven games.
“His fastball command is always pretty,” White Sox catcher Alex Avila said. “You never have to worry about that. It’s always there.”
After a hot August start that got them into playoff contention, the Mariners have lost four of five.
Quintana allowed a leadoff double to Leonys Martin in the first, and he scored an unearned run thanks to Avila’s passed ball. But Avila made up for it in his first game off the disabled list with a solo shot in the fifth.
Left fielder Melky Cabrera, back after missing two games with an illness, added a first-inning sacrifice fly and threw out Robinson Cano trying to stretch a single to help squash Seattle’s best rally off Quintana.
Justin Morneau’s first triple of the season in the fifth scored Todd Frazier. Garcia followed with a two-run shot off Nuno. Garcia also doubled twice.
″(We were) hoping Nuno could kind of bridge the gap there,” Servais said. “Got the two quick outs then run into a buzzsaw, four or five straight hits, and before you know it we were kind of out of the game.”
Mariners: 3B Kyle Seager went 1 for 4 after missing three games with a bruised right foot. Seager’s return, along with an upcoming schedule heavy with left-handed opposing pitchers, led Seattle to option OF Norichika Aoki to Triple-A Tacoma. ... Servais said RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (back spasms) was “not crazy” about going on the disabled list. “We really don’t have time where we’re at in the bullpen right now to give him five or six days,” Servais said.
Seattle’s Chris Iannetta took ball three, tossed his bat and jogged all the way to first in the fifth before realizing he didn’t walk. Quintana struck him out on the next pitch.
Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte, a reliever acquired from Toronto this month, joined Seattle with his special glove after a stint in Triple-A.
“Splits have said I’m a little bit better from the left side,” Venditte said. “So I would imagine that’s how I’ll be used here.”
Also arriving in a flurry of moves were INF Dae-Ho Lee from Tacoma and reliever Dan Altavilla, who was wide-eyed after getting called up from Double-A Jackson.
Altavilla hit 100 mph in a perfect eighth and struck out Frazier in his major league debut.
“My family in the stands just going crazy, it was tough to hold back my emotions there,” Altavilla said.
Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker (4-8, 4.14 ERA) faces LHP Carlos Rodon (4-8, 4.02) to close the four-game series Sunday.