Another night of anemic offense was forgotten with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when pinch hitter Adam Lind blasted a three-run, walk-off homer to beat the White Sox 4-3 Monday at Safeco Field (box). After ace Chris Sale held the Mariners (47-46) to just one hit over eight scoreless innings, Seattle scored all runs with two outs off closer David Robertson. The Mariners have an MLB-best five walk-off homers.
After 3B Kyle Seager broke up the shutout with a single up the middle, Lind stepped into the batter’s box in place of C Chris Iannetta and hit one of the biggest home runs of the season over the center-field fence, his second walk-off of the season (June 24 vs. St. Louis) and fifth of his career.
Wade LeBlanc (7 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) was good enough to keep the Mariners in the game despite a first inning that saw three of the first four Chicago hitters reach base. LeBlanc gave up two homers and looked like would take the loss before Lind rescued him. It was the first time LeBlanc pitched seven innings since August 2012 with Miami.
Relievers Vidal Nuno and David Rollins each tossed a scoreless inning. Seattle used a lefty-heavy approach that may well limit the Mariners Tuesday when left-handed starter Wade Miley’s starting turn is done. Rollins earned his first career win.
Sale is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA (12 ER, 46.1 IP) with 58 strikeouts in six career starts against the Mariners.
RF Franklin Gutierrez had a one-out hit in the first and led off the ninth with another single. Looked like that might be it for the offense. But Seager and Lind came up big. Seattle had an aggressive approach to Sale early on but actually proved to be more effective when displaying patience. Sale issued three walks and hit two batters, both in the eighth, which led to the decision to take him out.
“I pitched like crap and screwed Sale out of the win. I screwed the whole team out of a win.” – Robertson
“I think the way the last couple of innings went, I just didn’t want to send Sale back out there that fourth time around.” — White Sox manager Robin Ventura
“Our guys hung in there. It wasn’t looking so good, but that’s why you play all 27 outs.” – Seattle manager Scott Servais
“That’s why you play the game. Moments like that are the best part of the season.” — Lind
Lind is the first player with multiple behind-to-ahead walk-off home runs of at least 3 runs in a single season in MLB since Josh Donaldson in 2014 . . . SS Ketel Marte was back on the bench to open Monday’s game. Marte returned from a sprained ankle Sunday but was dealing with a sore throat and headache, Servais said before the game . . . The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by former Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, who holds the franchise record in career saves (129). Sasaki’s single-season club record of 45, set during the historic 2001 season, was broken by Fernando Rodney (46) two years ago . . . The Mariners turned in their fifth error in a span of two games when LF Daniel Robertson let a ground ball go through his legs in the ninth inning. 3B Kyle Seager made up for his two Sunday errors with a couple of nice defensive plays Monday, but it was hard to ignore Robertson’s error – or the infield single that bounced out of SS Shawn O’Malley’s glove in the first inning . . . Servais said Lind’s three-run homer was his sixth three-run shot this year. “That’s hard to do,” Servais said. “(Kyle) Seager, same thing. That’s a lot of big hits.”
For the second time this series, a pair of southpaw starters are scheduled to take the mound. Seattle’s Wade Miley (6-6, 5.44 ERA) opposes Chicago’s Jose Quintana (7-8, 3.21 ERA). If that matchup doesn’t quite move the meter, wait 17½ hours for Wednesday afternoon’s scheduled return of Felix Hernandez.