CHICAGO — Despite losing four of their last five games, including two of three against the White Sox, the Seattle Mariners left Chicago on Sunday fairly happy with their play in the first week of the season.
“There’s some good things that have happened, some things we have to get better with,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said after Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the White Sox. “We know we’re going to be a good offensive club, we just need to settle in offensively.”
Seattle hit nine homers while winning three of its first seven games, including five from Mike Morse, who went long in Sunday’s loss, as did teammate Kendrys Morales, getting his first of the season.
The Mariners have outhit opponents 52-48, but also have left 44 runners on base compared to only 29 by their first two opponents this season, Oakland and Chicago.
“I think we’re definitely underachieving what we’re capable of doing conservatively,” Morse said. “We haven’t played, but what, a week of baseball. I think we’ve showed some good signs of what we’re capable of doing.”
After playing their first seven games on the road, the Mariners return to Seattle for their home opener Monday night against Houston. The 10-game homestand features three games against the Astros, four against Texas and three against Detroit.
“I feel like we’re hitting balls hard,” Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak said. “Now we’re going back home finally for the first time, so I think everybody’s excited about that. Once we get into the rhythm and the groove of things — we’ve been playing good baseball, we haven’t been playing bad — we just have to do what it takes offensively to get those runs in.”
Dayan Viciedo hit a solo home run with one out in the 10th inning to lift Chicago to Sunday’s win. Viciedo hit the first game-ending homer of his career, connecting against Kameron Loe (1-1).
Alex Rios homered in his career-best third straight game and Adam Dunn also homered for Chicago.
The White Sox improved to 26-5 against Seattle since 2010. Seattle hasn’t won a series at U.S. Cellular Field since August 2007.
Addison Reed (1-0) pitched a scoreless 10th.
White Sox starter Chris Sale allowed three runs, including two homers, in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma gave up three runs and struck out three in eight innings.
Rios tied it 3-all with a solo shot off Iwakuma in the seventh. Iwakuma had retired 16 batters in a row before the home run. The Mariners took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Morales homered.
Dunn hit a two-run homer in the first. It was his second shot of the season and traveled an estimated 427 feet into the right-field stands.
Alexei Ramirez scored after reaching on a double. Morse hit a two-run homer in the first. Jason Bay drew a walk before Morse got the first extra-base hit off Sale this season. Sale retired seven straight after Morse’s shot. Chicago improved to 4-2 and begins a 10-game road trip on Tuesday with three games at Washington and Cleveland, followed by a four-game series at Toronto.
“I think we are all confident,” Sale said. “We are all feeling good about this. Any time you can start at home and get off on the right foot with two series wins, you can’t really ask for much more than that.”
NOTES: Sale is 10-3 in 16 home starts since the beginning of 2012. ... Chicago switched Dylan Axelrod and Jose Quintana in the rotation for later this week. Axelrod pitches Thursday against the Nationals and Quintana goes Friday against Cleveland for more favorable matchups.... White Sox 3B Jeff Keppinger is in a 1-for-21 slump. He had the day off Sunday. “He’s probably pulling the ball a little bit more than he normally does,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He looks normal in everything else he’s doing.” ... Wedge said he batted Bay second in the lineup to put another veteran high against Sale. Bay also hit second during spring training. ... Ventura said Dunn will possibly start in left field during interleague games at Washington that start Tuesday. ... The White Sox wore 1983 replica jerseys honoring those AL West champions. Chicago will wear the jerseys every home Sunday game.