Mariners aim for sweep of White Sox (Jul 16, 2017)

BY AP • July 16, 2017

CHICAGO -- The Seattle Mariners will shoot for a three-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago on Sunday and hope to extend their winning streak to four games.

Saturday's 4-3 victory over the White Sox gave the Mariners their first series win at Guaranteed Rate Field -- formerly U.S. Cellular Field and Comiskey Park -- since taking two of three there in 2007.

Bigger picture: At 45-47, the Mariners are in the pack of teams that are tantalizingly close to both American League wild cards. Seattle has won four of five following a four-game losing streak to close to three games behind the Yankees in the second wild-card spot.

On Sunday, the Mariners hope to keep rolling with rookie Andrew Moore on the mound. Considered the organization's most advanced pitching prospect, the 23-year-old righty will make his fourth major league start. He's 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA.

Moore made his MLB debut on June 22 after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. Seattle's second-round pick in 2015 out of Oregon State, Moore began this season at Double-A Arkansas before being promoted to Tacoma in early May.

With the Mariners, Moore has delivered three straight quality starts, going seven, eight and then six innings and each time allowing three runs. Noted for his control, the rookie righty has walked only two in 21 innings, but allowed five homers.

Moore faced 69 hitters to start his career without issuing a pass, the longest streak in Mariners' history. But in his last outing on July 8 versus Oakland, Moore walked hitters back-to-back in the fourth inning -- and hit a batter and gave up two homers.

The righty lasted six innings and gave up six hits in a no-decision. The Mariners lost 4-3 when closer Edwin Diaz gave up a run in the ninth.

"I thought Andrew wasn't quite as sharp as he has been," manager Scott Servais told the Seattle Times. "I say that and he still went six innings, three runs. Maybe his command wasn't in line with what we've seen his first two times out. But very good competitor, kept us right there."

Moore's take: "I just wasn't able to finish guys off as effectively."

The Mariners will have a little less hitting depth on Sunday. Rookie outfielder Mitch Haniger injured the index finger on his right hand while trying to bunt on Saturday and is expected to be day-to-day.

The Mariners may not need to be firing on all cylinders on Sunday against struggling White Sox lefty Derek Holland, who's 5-9 with an ERA that has ballooned from 2.37 on May 22 to 5.01.

The 30-year-old has been hammered in losing three straight for AL-worst Chicago. Now fully committed to rebuilding, the White Sox have dropped six of seven and are a season-high 13-games below .500.

Holland allowed seven runs in four innings in his last start that resulted in a 12-4 loss at Colorado on July 7. He called his first appearance at Coors Field "flat out embarrassing."

In his last seven outings, Holland has given up 35 runs in 31 innings. He is 13-6 with a 3.57 ERA in 26 career games, 22 starts, against the Mariners.

Holland says he's healthy now, but still adjusting after the knee and shoulder problems have kept him from a full season since 2013 when he was with Texas. He signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the White Sox last December.

"I'm just not doing my job," Holland said. "I need to be a lot better than I was this start and last start."

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