SEATTLE -- Come for the pitching, stay for the offense.
Chris Sale was outstanding yet again on Friday night in an 11-4 White Sox victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. But just as impressive was a White Sox offense that knocked Felix Hernandez out after six laborious innings and continued to work counts and drive in runs late in the game.
Both Sale and manager Robin Ventura were particularly impressed by a four-run rally in the eighth inning after Mark Trumbo’s three-run blast in the seventh got the Mariners within a run.
“To respond like that was great,” Ventura said. “(Carlos) Sanchez had another big one in there to push it ahead and the two-out ones are always big. Any time you get a two-out RBIs is a big one and we got a couple of them.”
The White Sox had six two-out hits, all from the sixth inning on with five accounting for runs.
But what was even more impressive was how quickly the White Sox rebounded after Trumbo’s blast, one that Sale said “traveled a good mile.”
Melky Cabrera singled to start the eighth and Adam LaRoche doubled with one out. Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Sanchez and Tyler Flowers all drew walks, the latter two pushing across runs as the White Sox made it a 6-3 game. Tyler Saladino singled in two with two outs to put the White Sox, who sent nine men to the plate in the inning, ahead by five runs.
Then in the ninth, Sanchez, who had earlier doubled in two runs off Hernandez to make it 4-0, doubled in another to make it a 9-3 game. Sanchez established a career-high with four RBIs. Flowers, who reached three times in five trips,singled in two more to give the White Sox an eight-run cushion.
“For our guys to get four runs off (Hernandez), it says a lot,” Sale said. “Same thing, I go right back out there and give up three and that can kind of deflate a team and we kind of took off after that. It says a lot about the guys we have in here and the team we have.”
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Jose Abreu -- who has 27 RBIs in 29 games -- got the White Sox on the board in the fourth inning when he doubled to right center off Hernandez toscore Saladino, who went 3-for-5. Adam Eaton also singled in a run in the fifth off Hernandez, who allowed four earned runs and nine hits over six innings.
A night after they scored eight to avoid a four-game sweep in Anaheim, the White Sox produced their fourth double-digit run performance of the season as every starter got a base hit. Three of those showings have come in the second half.
For a team that has played in one- or two-run games in nine of its last 14 contests, the additional breathing room was helpful, Flowers said.
“We know our bullpen is very capable of holding down anybody but to get a little more cushion, give a little more leniency to them and to me calling the game, you’re able to get more aggressive and trust our defense,” Flowers said. “We don’t have to be perfect on every pitch. Much less stressful. Appreciate it.”