The Mariners’ starter was charged with 10 runs in a 16-1 loss to Chicago. Gallardo gave up four runs before recording the first out.
It was a game befitting their fall into last place in the American League West standings. Early in the season or not — and it’s really not that early — seeing your name at the bottom of the division standings is disheartening for a team that believed it was capable of so much more.
Yes, injuries have played a part in this slide. The Mariners’ roster features too many players that should be at Class AAA Tacoma or elsewhere. But Saturday’s drubbing wasn’t about who wasn’t there to contribute. It was about the last healthy member of their projected starting rotation suffering through his worst outing of the season in a 16-1 rout by the White Sox.
It wasn’t exactly an ideal performance on one of the best weather nights of an awful spring and a crowd of 33,801 in attendance. Only two teams — the Royals (17-24) and Blue Jays (18-26) — have worse records in the American League than the Mariners at 20-24. Seattle was 17-17 just 10 days earlier.
Chicago White Sox @ Mariners, 1:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
Veteran right-hander Yovani Gallardo gave up four runs before getting the first out of the game, and it didn’t get much better after that as he pitched the Mariners right out of the game.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Federal Way star Jaden McDaniels breaks silence, announces commitment to Washington
- Kurt Warner says Seahawks' Russell Wilson isn't a top-five NFL QB, and he might be right | Matt Calkins
- UW's Mike Hopkins is a great coach; adding Jaden McDaniels shows he may be a better recruiter. That's scary for the Pac-12.
- Analysis: Answering the biggest questions following Jaden McDaniels’ commitment to UW
- What we learned from the Seahawks' first open OTA: Injuries, contracts and position changes
Gallardo didn’t make it out of the fourth inning — the first time he didn’t give Seattle at least five innings in an outing this season. His final line: 32/3 innings, 10 runs allowed (nine earned) on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
“It’s definitely frustrating coming from the starts I had before that,” Gallardo said. “The most frustrating part is never giving the guys a chance to come back and battle. It’s just one of those days that everything that was put in play was getting through, and when I made a mistake it went over the fence.”
Avisail Garcia tortured Gallardo, driving in six runs against him.
“It was not a good start at all,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Fortunately, it only counts for one loss. Just from the get go, Gallardo — as sharp as he was last outing — he really couldn’t get any rhythm in the first inning. I was hoping he could keep us tight for a while. He does usually bounce back. But tonight he really got into no rhythm at all.”
With the White Sox already up 1-0 in the first, Garcia pulled a high fly ball over the wall in left field for a three-run homer.
In the third inning after Gallardo had appeared to find a bit of rhythm, retiring six of seven batters, Garcia launched a solo blast into center for his fifth multihomer game of his career to make it 4-0.
Garcia never got a chance for a third homer off Gallardo. Servais pulled his starter with two outs in the fourth inning and Garcia coming to the plate. Gallardo had already given up a hard sacrifice line out to center and an RBI single to make it 6-0.
Servais called on lefty long reliever Dillon Overton to face Garcia with runners on first and second. Garcia scored those two runs that were charged to Gallardo with a rocket double into left-center. After giving up five runs in the fourth, the Mariners were down 10-0.
Down double digits, Overton, who was a candidate to start Sunday’s homestand finale, had to wear it for the rest of the bullpen and log some innings. They weren’t all scoreless. Chicago hung another five runs in the seventh inning, which featured a two-run homer by Matt Davidson and a solo homer into the upper deck for Wily Garcia — his first big-league homer.
“I thought Overton hung in there and ate some innings up to put us in a fresh bullpen tomorrow,” Servais said. “All of those guys will show up in that game tomorrow.”
With the game truly out of hand, the Mariners called on utility infielder Mike Freeman to pitch the top of the ninth. He did admirably, throwing a 79 mph fastball to complement a floating changeup. He allowed one run on a sacrifice fly and gave up three hits in his one inning.
“I don’t want to be in that situation because it means that we are behind by a significant amount to throw someone like me out there to save our bullpen an inning,” Freeman said. “I was able to do that. Unfortunately, the game was out of hand pretty early. It’s not the scenario you want to have play out.”
Facing right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who came in with a less-than-stellar 5.70 ERA and 0-4 record, the Mariners mustered one run against him in six innings on four hits.
Seattle barely outhit Garcia, edging him 5-4.