The Chicago White Sox chose to recall the Bicentennial on Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field which, by the way, only dates to 1991. Lots of trivia on the scoreboard. Some remarkably bad music.
And, yes, the South Siders donned replicas of their memorable V-neck jerseys worn pajama-style over navy-blue shorts. They didn’t wear the shorts Thursday. More’s the pity.
That brings us to the Mariners, who weren’t yet around in 1976, which was also true for long portions of Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the White Sox.
They flatlined for six innings against Chicago starter Carlos Rodon, a tough left-hander, before squandering a prime chance to pull even in the seventh inning against the bullpen of the White Sox after Rodon exited.
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So it was a bad night. Another one. But the low point …
Jesus Montero went down for an extended moment when he fouled a pitch straight down in the fifth inning that bounced up and hit him below the belt. Yes, he was wearing a cup. Even so …
“It still hurt,” he said. “You know when you get hit down there, it’s not easy. It was like, ‘OK, I’m fine.’ Then I started to feel something, and I was like, ‘Ohh, man.’ Then I went down.”
Montero remained in the game and grounded out. Afterward, he said he was fine.
Lefty Roenis Elias, back in the rotation, gave up four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings. He pitched better than those numbers suggest, but he couldn’t handle Adam Eaton, the nettlesome Chicago leadoff hitter.
Eaton had three of the White Sox’s nine hits and was also hit by a pitch — and nearly hit on two other occasions. Elias blamed a curveball that “was not very good.”
Catcher Mike Zunino added, “He tends to drop down a little bit with lefties and lower his arm slot. Sometimes, he loses a feel for it.
“That happened three times, two times with a breaking ball and, unfortunately, once with a fastball.”
Elias (4-7) began the fifth inning by hitting Eaton with a pitch after narrowly missing him with the previous pitch. Elias also flipped Eaton on a pitch in the third inning.
Eaton also had singles in his two previous at-bats and scored both times. He scored again in the fifth by going to third on Jose Abreu’s hit-and-run single before Avisail Garcia delivered a sacrifice fly.
That allowed the White Sox to carry a 4-0 lead into the sixth. (Eaton also bunted for a single in the seventh, beating Elias’ throw. So whatever Elias’ beef with Eaton was/is, Eaton won this encounter.)
The Mariners didn’t break through against Rodon (6-5) until the seventh when Robinson Cano led off with a walk and Franklin Gutierrez followed with a two-run homer.
It was only the Mariners’ third hit against Rodon, but Chicago manager Robin Ventura went to the bullpen for Jake Petricka.
When Mark Trumbo singled, and the Mariners sent up Seth Smith as a pinch hitter for Montero, Ventura tried again. In came Zach Duke, who yielded a double to Smith.
Then, the Mariners let Duke and the White Sox off hook.
Brad Miller struck out on three off-speed pitches. Mike Zunino struck out on a curveball in the dirt. And Ketel Marte flied out to center.
“Second and third with nobody out,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon lamented. “If we’d went up without a bat, we’d have probably had a run in and the bases loaded. That’s tough.”
The Mariners also wasted a two-on, one-out threat in the eighth against Nate Jones when Gutierrez and Trumbo grounded out. David Robertson closed out Rodon’s victory with a scoreless ninth for his 27th save.
Somewhere, the Bee Gees were cooing.
Elias got off to a rocky start in the Chicago first — not entirely his fault.
Eaton led off with a grounder through Marte at shortstop for a single. Melky Cabrera then hit a potential double-play grounder to third that Brad Miller booted for an error.
Miller started at third for the first time in his career when manager Lloyd McClendon opted to rest ironman Kyle Seager against Rodon. No excuss from Miller.
“I take enough balls over there,” he said. “I’m prepared to do it. Nothing too crazy.”
Elias had a chance to chance to escape unharmed when Abreu grounded into a double play, but Garcia served an RBI single into left that fell in front of a diving Gutierrez.
Nelson Cruz lined a two-out single to left in the third inning that extended his career-best streak to 37 games of reaching base safely — but he was thrown out by Cabrera in attempting to turn it into a double.
The White Sox stretched their lead to 3-0 in later in the third. Eaton led off with a single and scored on Abreu’s one-out double to center. Abreu scored on Trayce Thompson’s two-out double.
FRIDAY: Seattle (RHP Taijuan Walker: 9-7, 4.72 ERA) at Chicago White Sox (LHP John Danks: 6-11, 4.90), 5:10 p.m., Root Sports, 1030-AM, 710-AM