Jose Abreu hammered a grand slam into the second deck for his 200th career home run, Luis Robert and Zack Collins both went deep for the first time this season and the Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 10-4 on Tuesday night.
A miserable night for the Mariners began when starting pitcher James Paxton exited early due to a left forearm strain, and continued with a barrage of long balls from the White Sox.
“Obviously, you don’t want to lose a ballgame, but even more disappointing when you lose a couple of players,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
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Robert snapped a 3-all tie with a two-run shot off Nick Margevicius in the fifth inning. Collins gave Chicago an early lead and greeted Margevicius (0-1) with a three-run homer in the second after he replaced Paxton.
Abreu provided the capper with the fourth grand slam of his career and second this season with two outs in the eighth off Keynan Middleton.
Abreu, last year’s AL MVP, said he forgot it was a milestone homer in his career.
“I got to the dugout and people started telling me that was my 200th homer. Honestly, I forgot about that in that moment,” he said through a translator.
Paxton was making his first start in his second stint with the Mariners, but lasted just 24 pitches before leaving with discomfort in his left elbow and discouragement on his face. He grimaced in pain after throwing a 92 mph fastball to Andrew Vaughn with one out in the second inning and was immediately tended to on the mound.
Paxton’s return to Seattle on a one-year deal was supposed to jumpstart his career after two years with the Yankees and an injury-filled 2020 season that included back surgery and forearm issues.
Now the Mariners will wait to find out the significance of the injury. Paxton said there was less pain than the flexor strain in his forearm that sidelined him last year. He will have an MRI on Wednesday.
“I kind of felt it coming on and then by the time that third hitter came up it just got worse and worse and just kind of felt it,” Paxton said. “It got to the point where I couldn’t throw pitches.”
Chicago starter Lucas Giolito (1-0) was dominant early, stumbled for one shaky inning and was out after 5 1/3 innings due to a rising pitch count. Giolito fanned five straight batters during one stretch and finished with 10 strikeouts. He stumbled in the third, allowing Seattle three runs on four hits, but settled down to retire nine of his final 10 batters and left after 96 pitches.
“He pitched so well that he did not give me a real happy look when I took him out of the game,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said.
Seattle batters struck out 15 times.
The White Sox won their 17th consecutive game when facing left-handed starting pitchers. It’s the second-longest streak in baseball history, behind the 2004-05 Atlanta Braves, who won 18 straight. Seattle also became the fifth team since 2005 to use left-handed starting pitchers in four of the first five games to start a season. The Padres were the last to do that in 2019.
The Mariners also lost left fielder Jake Fraley to a left hamstring strain sustained while making the final out of the fifth inning with a diving catch of Yoan Moncada’s liner. Fraley will also have an MRI on Wednesday and Seattle is expected to make a handful of roster moves.
White Sox: SS Tim Anderson did some running during pregame early work, but La Russa doesn’t expect Anderson to have a chance of getting back on the field until Thursday at the earliest. “I think he’s making progress. I don’t know exactly what the timetable is. I feel confident he won’t play tomorrow. We’ll wait and see about the (home) opener,” La Russa said. … C Yasmani Grandal had a regular day off and is expected to play the series finale Wednesday.
Mariners: OF Kyle Lewis (knee) came out of his first session in the batting cage feeling good and was expected to progress to doing more plyometric exercises, Servais said. Lewis has a bone bruise in his right knee.
White Sox: LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-0) makes his second start of the season. Keuchel allowed three earned runs over 4 2/3 innings in his first start against the Angels.
Mariners: RHP Justin Dunn (4-1, 4.34 in 2020) makes his season debut as Seattle completes its first turn through its six-man rotation.