Seattle scores early then gets a key play from Shawn O’Malley with the bases loaded in the eighth to defeat the dominant Sale behind 71/3 solid innings from Felix Hernandez and Edwin Diaz’s five-out save.

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CHICAGO — It’s a play that snaps losing streaks and helps you beat one of the best pitchers in baseball. It’s a play that Shawn O’Malley has shown a knack for making this season. And it’s a play that saved the Mariners from more late-inning disaster against the White Sox.

So much had to go right for the Mariners in their 3-1 win over the White Sox and Chris Sale on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

They needed to scratch out runs against the perennial all-star and Cy Young Award candidate, which isn’t easy to do when you have three left-handed hitters in your starting lineup.

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M’s @ White Sox4:10 p.m., ROOT Sports

Seattle also needed a strong outing from ace Felix Hernandez, knowing that run support would be at a minimum and with a six-man bullpen already overused Thursday night.

And plays needed to be made — plays that weren’t made in Thursday night’s loss. O’Malley made that play in the eighth inning with the Mariners teetering on the edge of failure.

With the bases loaded and one out and Seattle clinging to its 3-1 lead, closer Edwin Diaz was called on to pitch in the highest leverage situation. Diaz got Tim Anderson to hit a soft ground ball to third base. O’Malley, playing in place of the injured Kyle Seager, made a brilliant barehand pickup on the slow roller, firing home to Mike Zunino to get the runner with the force-out.

“It was just a dribbler,” O’Malley said. “I realized I had to barehand it and get rid of it as quick as I can and try to make the best throw possible to Zunino. First thing going through my head was just secure the ball. I must have had a good enough grip because I made a decent throw.”

Diaz then got Jose Abreu to pop out in foul territory to O’Malley to end the inning. But that play for the second out changed the entire inning.

“What a play by Shawn O’Malley,” manager Scott Servais said. “Huge, huge play. When I saw that ball come off the bat, my stomach just sunk. Gotta make those plays, and we made them tonight.”

After needing just four pitches in the eighth, Diaz worked a dominant 1-2-3 ninth to get his 11th save, striking out the side and flashing a 100 mph fastball with none of the previous command issues with the pitch.

“It nice to get Eddie Diaz back,” Servais said. “That’s the guy we saw for a long time.”

With the win, Seattle snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 68-60.

Hernandez was solid despite battling some dizziness issues early in the game. He pitched 71/3 innings, giving up one run on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “I felt a little dizzy and couldn’t feel my legs. I’ve had it before. I was just a little too amped up.”

Facing Sale and in desperate need of a win can provide plenty of excess adrenaline.

“I knew I was facing Sale, and he’s a great pitcher,” Hernandez said. “And the bullpen was a little tired, so I knew I needed to go deep in the game. That was on my mind. And I went in and did my job.”

The offense did its job, scratching out the three runs.

Hitless in his previous 15 at-bats and really showing little sign of returning to the productive presence he was last season, Franklin Gutierrez tantalized fans and his teammates with the possibility again in the second inning. He was ready for Sale’s 1-1 fastball clocked at 97 mph and drove it over the wall in right-center for his 12th homer of the season. The solo blast gave Seattle a 1-0 lead.

It was the first extra-base hit that Sale had allowed in 142/3 innings and the first homer he had given up since the eighth inning of his start on Aug. 3 — a span of more than 23 innings and his second homer allowed in his previous 43 innings.

One run was an accomplishment off Sale, but two more? Yep, that happened, too.

The Mariners pushed a run across in the third inning, loading the bases on a hit by pitch, a single from Ketel Marte and a bunt single from Leonys Martin. With the bases loaded and no outs, Guillermo Heredia hit into a 6-4-3 double play that scored the run. It wasn’t an ideal result, but a rare run nonetheless.

An inning later, Nelson Cruz led off with a single, advanced to second on Zunino’s deep fly to center and scored on Adam Lind’s line-drive double into the left-center gap to make it 3-0. It was just the seventh extra-base hit that Sale had surrendered to a left-handed hitter this season.

“It’s like an Old School quote: ‘Did I just black out and end up on second base?’ ” Lind said. “You are just hoping he hangs something or leaves something middle-middle.”

It was good the Mariners got their runs when they did. An agitated Sale carved up Seattle after the Lind double, retiring 16 straight hitters with 10 of them coming on strikeouts, including six in a row in one stretch. He finished with a complete game and 14 strikeouts, allowing just five hits.

“When he gets on a roll, he’s lights-out,” Servais said. “We had no chance after about the fourth or fifth inning.”

AL wild-card raceThe top two wild-card teams make the postseason and will play in a one-game playoffTeam
W-L
GBBoston
71-57
+1Baltimore
70-58
—Detroit
69-59
1Seattle
68-60
2