CHICAGO — Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge wanted to see what his team could do with a full nine innings.
Tyler Flowers hit a go-ahead homer just before the final downpour and the Chicago White Sox beat Seattle, 4-3, in a rain-shortened game Sunday for their sixth straight victory.
The young Mariners lost all three games in the series by one run.
“I wish we could have finished it off,” Wedge said. “Our kids are playing so hard right now. They’re fighting. We could have won all three of these games, too. We’ll be better for it.”
Immediately following a 6-minute rain delay in the seventh inning, Flowers launched a two-run shot off Kevin Millwood to lead first-place Chicago to its second consecutive series sweep.
Rain continued to pour until the tarp was put on for good two batters later, and the game was called after a wait of nearly 2 hours.
The start was delayed for 1 hour, 51 minutes because of showers that persisted throughout the game before it was finally stopped.
Capser Wells hit a two-run homer for Seattle. Millwood (4-11) allowed four runs — three earned — over 62/3 innings.
“He was throwing the ball great, making pitches. He was commanding the game,” Wedge said. “We didn’t help him early. They scored runs early because we gave it to (Chicago).”
Millwood gave up the go-ahead homer on his second pitch to Flowers immediately after the delay. The right-hander returned to the dugout during the brief stoppage while staff tended to the field.
“It was just weird, different,” Millwood said. “I thought (the umpire) said they were going to put the tarp on. Then they just put the Diamond Dry on or whatever. I don’t think anybody really knew what to do, just kind of standing around. Either way, it didn’t affect what happened.”
Nate Jones (7-0) escaped a seventh-inning jam after inheriting runners on first and third base with nobody out.
The young flamethrower struck out Trayvon Robinson looking after inducing a pair of soft popups. The Mariners had won 10 of 11 before being swept by Chicago.
“You can’t draw this up. Guys just battled,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Wells’ two-run homer off Hector Santiago in the fifth following Justin Smoak’s leadoff single gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead. Wells’ eighth home run snapped an 0-for-16 slump.
“I kind of had an intuitive thought he’d be throwing a change-up,” Wells said. “He likes his change-up a lot and he left one up enough for me to get a good part of the bat on it and luckily it went out of the ballpark.”
It was only the second time the Mariners had been swept since the All-Star break.
“If we had a little more time, who knows what could have happened?” Wells said. “It’s nice to know we can come back from big deficits and put runs on the board. Our pitching has pretty much kept us in it all year and our defense has been there. It seems like we’re starting to come around as a team. This is a tough team right now, playing the White Sox. You know it’s going to be a close game.”
The White Sox retained their 21/2-game lead in the American League Central over the Detroit Tigers, who beat the Los Angeles Angels, 5-2.
Chicago starter Gavin Floyd left after two innings with right elbow discomfort. Floyd said it was in the same area that gave him a stint on the disabled list in July. He will remain in Chicago today to have an MRI.
“It kind of started bothering me a little bit in the first inning, late in the first. And then the second inning, it really started to kind of affect me,” Floyd said.
Floyd allowed a pair of singles to start the game, and Dustin Ackley scored on Jesus Montero’s infield single.
Floyd was able to get out of the inning only giving up one run despite allowing three hits and a walk.
Floyd pitched a 1-2-3 second inning, but did not return for the third.
Chicago’s Alex Rios reached 20 homers and 20 steals in the second inning when he stole second base.
Kevin Youkilis tripled home a run in the third inning. Mariners right fielder Eric Thames misplayed the shallow liner that bounced all the way to the wall as Ray Olmedo scored from first.
“It was just a bad decision,” Wedge said. “I like the aggressiveness to a point, but you can’t be overly aggressive at that point of time in the game.”