(The Sports Xchange) - A day of losses concluded with a win for the Seattle Mariners when they beat the Chicago White Sox 2-0 at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday.
Paced by a dominant performance from right-hander Taijuan Walker, the Mariners evened the series at a game apiece despite struggling to convert scoring opportunities into runs for the second straight night.
“He shut them down,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Walker. “They got him a little bit (last week) in Seattle, but he bounced back very nicely and did a tremendous job.”
Walker threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out six for the win but also left his start prematurely because of a cramping issue in his right hip flexor.
“I just kind of cramped up,” Walker said. “It gave out on me. I fell and I got back in (the locker room) and I was good.”
Walker was not the only one to leave earlier than expected after the Mariners announced that general manager Jack Zduriencik had been fired and catcher Mike Zunino sent to the minors.
It was a lot for players and the coaching staff to handle, but they managed to win for the fourth time in their past six games.
Third baseman Kyle Seager (3-for-4) and left fielder Franklin Gutierrez (3-for-3) each hit homers to lead the offense, and right-hander Carson Smith and closer Tom Wilhelmsen threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to preserve the win.
Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Left-hander John Danks (6-12) started and took the loss for the White Sox (60-67), who were shut out for the ninth time this season and second time this week.
“You start looking at (Danks) and (him) going through that lineup... but we didn’t muster any offense,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You have to be able to put something on the board. If they score two, you have to be able to score three.”
Seattle (60-69) scored the winning runs in the sixth on the homers by Seager and Gutierrez with the blasts rewarding Walker for his dominant outing.
The Mariners’ talented right-hander cruised through his first six innings with little trouble by mixing up his offerings and throwing 56 of his 84 pitches for strikes.
A two-out double by Chicago left fielder Melky Cabrera in the first was the lone extra-base hit Walker allowed, and he retired the next 11 hitters he faced.
“I felt good,” Walker said. “We went with a lot of fastballs today and we were really locating everything.”
Compiled by John O'Brien