Mariners silenced by White Sox lefty Sale

The Seattle Mariners knew what to expect this time around from

Chris Sale.

That didn’t make it any easier for them.

Kevin Millwood struggled to hit his spots and the Mariners

managed just five hits against the young lefty in a 4-2 loss to the

Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Sale (7-2) struck out eight and walked two in his first major

league complete game. It was his 10th start this year after

pitching in relief for Chicago during the last two seasons.

In Sale’s previous start, he struck out 15 in 7 1-3 innings at

Tampa Bay. He struck out 11 Mariners on April 20 in a 7-3 victory

in Seattle.

”Throwing from that angle, it’s tough to pick up – when you do,

it’s right on you,” Dustin Ackley said of the lanky, side-arming

lefty. ”The angle, how hard he throws, how long he is . all makes

it pretty tough.”

Sale allowed White Sox manager Robin Ventura to rest his entire

bullpen after Chicago used all seven relievers in Saturday’s taxing

12-inning loss. The Mariners were not so fortunate.

Staked to an early two-run lead, Millwood (3-5) walked five

batters, and allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings. He

struck out four.

After loading the bases in the second, Brent Lillibridge took a

3-2 pitch that was just off the outside corner to cut the Seattle

lead to 2-1. Millwood prevented further damage by getting Gordon

Beckham to ground out.

In the third inning, Millwood walked Adam Dunn leading off, then

hit Dayan Viciedo with a pitch. Alex Rios tied the game with an RBI

single.

”I wasn’t locating my fastball very well,” Millwood said.

”For the most part, I was able to keep the ball on the ground, but

they found some holes. I walked too many guys. Just wasn’t able to

make pitches when I needed to.”

The White Sox took the lead in the fourth on Beckham’s RBI

single and a hard grounder by Rios that ricocheted off Millwood’s

foot. Shortstop Brendan Ryan fielded the ball and made an

off-balance throw that was too late to get Rios, allowing another

run.

”I thought it was going up the middle and stuck my foot out. I

guess I misdirected it a little bit too much,” Millwood said.

”That’s another situation where I was able to get the ground ball,

just in a bad spot.”

The 23-year-old Sale threw 119 pitches and made only one

mistake. Miguel Olivo hit a long, two-run homer to straightaway

center on an 0-1 pitch in the second inning. The home run was

measured at 448 feet and it was Olivo’s fourth of the season.

The Mariners failed to advance a runner beyond second base after

that.

”He did a good job pitching in, he did a good job pitching from

behind,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. ”He pitched a good

ballgame against us. He just kept making pitches when he needed

to.”

Sale entered the ninth with 100 pitches. He allowed a leadoff

single by Jesus Montero, but got Justin Smoak to hit into a double

play. Ackley followed with a single and Sale finished the game off

by getting Olivo to strike out after a nine-pitch at-bat.

”It was tough. Obviously the last hitter of the game, you’re

just bearing down,” Sale said. ”He got me early. I was just

really trying to keep the ball down to him.”

NOTES: Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (tweaked back) ”still feels

it today” and is limited in his activity, according to Wedge.

Wedge believes Hernandez will make his next scheduled start on

Wednesday. He plans on making the decision on Monday. … White Sox

CF Alejandro De Aza missed the game because of illness. 1B Paul

Konerko and C A.J. Pierzynski had the day off. … White Sox OF

Kosuke Fukudome, who got a rare start, left the game early because

of back stiffness.