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Canó's solo homer not enough to back Walker in series finale loss to Sox

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

8/28 at CWS by TOM HAYDEN

68-62, 8.5 GB in AL WEST 

The Mariners were narrowly defeated on Sunday afternoon by the Chicago White Sox in the finale of what was a 4-game set. Unfortunately, the M's dropped 3 of the 4 games in the series, falling down to a W-L record of 68-62 on the season. Still 6 games over .500, however, the M's are still in a great spot among the American League Wild card race. On Sunday afternoon, the Mariners couldn't seem to find that groove offensively, as 2B Robinson Canó was the only one able to put a run on the board for Seattle in the 4-1 loss. RHP Taijuan Walker took the ball for the M's and this one, and he was aggressive out there, keeping his fastball up to speed in his lengthy outing.  Unfortunately, Taijuan was dealt a loss in this one as he wasn't able to keep the Mariners within at least 1 run all the way through. With the loss, our Seattle Mariners have fallen to 68-62 on the season and are now tied with the Houston Astros at 8.5 games behind the first place Texas Rangers (whom we take on next) in the American League western division standings. For an American League Wild Card spot, the Mariners are not out of anything yet at all, for they trail the Baltimore Orioles by 3.0 games in the race. The Baltimore Orioles are currently in that second Wild Card position. The Kansas City Royals, and Houston Astros are tied with the M's in the race while just the Detroit Tigers are ahead in the race by 1.0 game! 

On the mound on Sunday afternoon on the South side of Chicago, Illinois, RHP Taijuan "The Prince" Walker took the ball for his 19th start of the season for Seattle. Walker had a decent outing, and the effort level from him has been all you could ask for in his starts this year. On Sunday afternoon, Walker went 7.1 innings strong giving up 4 runs (all earned) on 4 hits while walking just 1 and striking out 3 White Sox on the day. Taijuan kept the ball in the ball park, which was one of the main reasons why he was out there for the full 7.1 innings of work. Unfortunately, Walker suffered his 9th loss of the season after a tough eighth inning, and now has an individual W-L record of 4-9 on the year with an ERA of 4.19 in just over 100 innings pitched so far this season with the M's. In relief on Sunday was RHP Dan Altavilla (0.00 ERA) who made just his second Major League appearance in this one. Altavilla went 0.2 innings to finish off the game giving up just 1 hit and 1 un-earned run while striking out CWS 3B Todd Frazier for the second night in a row! 

Offensively on Sunday, Seattle combined to put up just 1 run on 7 hits off of CWS LHP Carlos Rodon and RHP David Roberston. 3B Kyle Seager had himself a day at the plate and brought up that .290 AVG a bit with 3 hits for the M's. Seager went 3-for-4 at the dish with 2 singles and his 3rd triple of the season! Unfortunately, Seager was left on base every time he got on, as the Mariners combined to go 0-for-7 as a team with runners in scoring position on Sunday. RF Franklin Gutierrez (.236 AVG) continues to break out of a slump as he went 2-for-4 at the plate on Sunday with a pair of singles. It was 2B Robinson Canó (.298 AVG) who was responsible for the only Mariner run as he belted his 30th homer of the season, a solo BLAST to right in the top of the sixth inning off of CWS LHP Carlos Rodon. Canó also connected for a single in this one for a 2-hit day going 2-for-4 at the plate. The RBI from the homer was his 82nd of the season! In his last 12 games, Robinson Canó is batting a .375 AVG with 4 home runs and 8 RBI! (Stat per- MLB Network). 

WHAT'S NEXT? ----

WE GOT THE TEXAS RANGERS in a 3-game mid-week series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas! This series is a HUGE one, as the Mariners are battling with these Rangers in the American league West standings. It won't take just 1 game, it has to be at least 2-out-of-3 from Texas in this series in order for Seattle to stay within that race for the division title. Currently, the M's are 8.5 games in back of Texas in the division, but things can change very quickly in the great game of baseball. Getting things going on Monday night for the Mariners will be RHP Hisashi Iwakuma who has been the ace of this club for the entire year, with Felix Hernandez. Iwakuma (14-9, 3.81 ERA) will make his 27th start of the season is set and ready to face TEX RHP Yu Darvish (4-3, 2.91 ERA) in an "All-Japan" matchup, nationally televised on ESPN! This will be the first time Iwakuma and Darvish face off since 2013, but also the 14th time in each of their Major League careers. Be sure to watch this one on ESPN, or listen in on 710 ESPN seattle radio as the Mariners look to bounce back and take down their rivals of the AL West in front of a nationally televised audience! 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting. 


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