White Sox Bullpen Blows Lead Against Mariners Again

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Jul 20, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Leonys Martin (12) is greeted by teammates at the plate after hitting a walk-off solo-homer against the Chicago White Sox during the eleventh inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Chicago, 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 20, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Leonys Martin (12) is greeted by teammates at the plate after hitting a walk-off solo-homer against the Chicago White Sox during the eleventh inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Chicago, 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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White Sox bullpen blows 5-2 lead against Mariners, lose in extras 6-5 after walk-off home run from Leonys Martin. White Sox bullpen blew two of three games against Mariners in the series.

The White Sox are done. There’s no coming back for this team. After another walk-off win for the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon, the White Sox are 46-48. The White Sox failed to take advantage of a weaker schedule and are even further away from contention.

The bullpen once again let down the White Sox as they managed to blow a 5-2 lead late. Miguel Gonzalez pitched well enough for a victory, but the bullpen collapsed for the second time in three games for a walk-off victory for the Mariners. Leonys Martin hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the 11th inning for the 6-5 Mariners victory.

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This would be the second walk-off for the Mariners against the White Sox in this series. On Monday, closer David Robertson blew a three-run lead when he allowed Adam Lind to hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run. Chris Sale had just pitched eight magnificent innings and it was wasted the next inning.

On Wednesday, the White Sox jumped out quickly against a returning Felix Hernandez. Todd Frazier got the scoring started in the first inning with a three-run home run. Melky Cabrera added a RBI single in the second inning. Martin hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning. Justin Morneau added to the White Sox lead with a RBI single in the fifth inning. The White Sox lead 5-2 going into the seventh inning.

Gonzalez who was coming off an impressive start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday, pitched six solid innings against the Mariners on Wednesday. Gonzalez gave up four hits, three earned runs and recorded five strikeouts. He left in the bottom of the seventh inning after walking Lind.

Zach Duke entered the game and after retiring Martin, he allowed a two-run home run to Mike Zunino. This cut the Mariners deficit to 5-4. Duke was able to get out of a bases loaded jam after he hit Shawn O’Malley and walked Norichika Aoki. Robinson Cano grounded into a double play to end the seventh inning.

Although it appeared the White Sox could escape Safeco Field with a victory, Nate Jones was unable to hold the lead as he gave up a solo home run to Lind in the eight inning. With new life, the Mariners took advantage and ultimately capitalized in the 11th inning. With the walk-off from Martin, the White Sox have now lost three consecutive series.

Each of the White Sox last three series were very winnable. This team appeared to be going in the right direction after a horrible May and beginning of June, that was followed by five consecutive series victories. Unfortunately, now it appears this team could be a lot different in two weeks. With this loss, the White Sox are 10 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central division.

Next: White Sox Need to Focus on Future, Begin Rebuilding Process

White Sox fans have endured a lot of losing over the past decade, and with the team’s recent play ownership has to consider the strong possibility of being sellers at the trading deadline. It’s shaping up to be a seller’s market, and the White Sox can do the right thing and build for the future. This series loss to the Mariners only proves this team isn’t strong enough to contend for the postseason. Let’s hope the front office isn’t foolish enough to believe otherwise.

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