CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox experimented with an unusual 4:10 p.m. local start time Tuesday, and the early returns are in.
“I love it,” Seattle Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales said, “Talking to a couple hitters in the first inning, guys just said, ‘Anything that comes out looks like a fastball. You don’t know what it is.’”
Gonzales and four relievers combined on a five-hitter, Mitch Haniger singled home the only run and the Mariners pulled out a 1-0 victory.
“Winning a 1-0 game is a special win,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The conditions to hit with the sun and the shadows probably played into that a little bit, but you’ve got to find a way to win it.”
At 5-15, the rebuilding White Sox are off to their worst start since the 1950 season. That year they opened 5-20 on the way to a 60-94 finish.
“We didn’t have very many opportunities for me to say I’m disappointed,” said manager Rick Renteria, ejected by plate umpire Mike Estabrook after he protested a called third strike to Matt Davidson that ended the sixth.
Gonzales (2-2) was in control almost from the start, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out eight in six-plus innings.
Gonzales allowed singles to Tim Anderson and Yolmer Sanchez, the first two batters. He picked Anderson off second base, induced Jose Abreu to bounce into a double play and didn’t allow another hit until the sixth.
Seattle broke out on top against fill-in starter Chris Volstad (0-1) in the fourth when Kyle Seager doubled and scored on Haniger’s hard grounder up the middle, both with two outs.
“Definitely didn’t see the ball as good as yesterday, but it’s the same for both teams, so you got to get the job done any way you can,” said Haniger, whose streak of four straight games with a home run came to an end. “Just trying to hit the ball hard, and it squeaked through and got the run across.”
After Yoan Moncada’s leadoff double chased Gonzales in the seventh, reliever Dan Altavilla retired the next two batters before Marc Rzepczynski got the final out of the inning.
Juan Nicasio pitched the eighth and Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his ninth save in as many tries.
Volstad (0-1) allowed one run and four hits in 4 1/3 innings and didn’t walk a batter as a replacement for Miguel Gonzalez, who is on the 10-day disabled list with an inflamed right rotator cuff. The start was the first for Volstad after four relief appearances this year.
In Danny’s corner
Former Mariners teammates and their wives remained in contact with the family of White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar, who underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm last weekend. He spent the 2013-15 seasons with the team.
“You just want to give his family enough space, but you also want to do all you can to be there for support,” said catcher Mike Zunino, Farquhar’s ex-batterymate. “When you first hear something like this happens, it’s really scary because you have don’t know what’s going to happen. It seems like each day we hear something positive, so that’s a really good feeling.”