|FreePlays.com Home » Preview: Chicago W. Sox at Seattle, May 19th, 2017|
SEATTLE -- Some things in baseball are hard to explain.
Like why some teams play so much better at home than on the road.
Case in point: the Chicago White Sox and the Seattle Mariners.
The White Sox are a .500 team (8-8) at Guaranteed Rate Field, yet they are 9-14 on the road, with seven consecutive losses.
The Mariners are 13-6 at Safeco Field, 7-16 away as they head into the second game of a four-game series against the White Sox on Friday. Seattle won the opener 5-4 on Thursday with a walk-off single from pinch hitter Guillermo Heredia.
Asked about the home/road difference, Mariners manager Scott Servais said, "Confidence level, routine."
Seattle currently has nine rookies on its roster, although Servais refused to use that as an excuse.
"It's not so much the young players, just our pitching," he said. "With what the pitchers have gone through (with four starters on the disabled list), they benefit at home from a bigger ballpark. We've been susceptible to the home run.
"And a number of our guys hit better at home. (Kyle) Seager stands out, for whatever reason."
The Mariners third baseman is batting .313 with three home runs and 13 RBIs at home. On the road, he is at .200 with one homer and nine RBIs.
On the opposite side is White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, who has hit all seven of his home runs this season on the road (all in the past 18 games).
"I wish I could say there was a rhyme or reason for it, but I don't have any particular explanation," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Abreu's totals.
Nor did Renteria have an explanation for the team's road woes.
"For us, today is what we're worried about," Renteria said. "Why we might perform better in one particular ballpark or another ... that's baseball. You have to hit, you have to catch and you have to pitch."
Said White Sox left-hander Derek Holland: "Every team goes through rough patches, it's just how you respond. It's not like we haven't shown up. Sometimes it's just one run a game either way. That's the way baseball is."
The White Sox and Mariners are both scheduled to send left-handers to the mound Friday.
Chicago's Jose Quintana (2-5, 4.38 ERA) is set to oppose Seattle's Ariel Miranda (3-2. 4.79 ERA).
It will be Miranda's second career start against the White Sox. He went four innings at Chicago last Aug. 27, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout.
The Mariners were beaten in that game by Quintana, who gave up just one run in 7 2/3 innings. Quintana is 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against Seattle, with 44 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings.
Quintana's five losses are tied for the most in the American League, although he isn't completely to blame. The White Sox have provided him just 2.37 runs of support per start, the third-lowest production in the AL.
His last time out, Quintana turned in a quality start in a no-decision against the San Diego Padres on Saturday. He gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings, and the White Sox eventually won 9-3 after scoring eight runs in the eighth inning.
Miranda also didn't factor into the decision in his most recent outing. He allowed one run in five innings during Seattle's 3-2 loss at Toronto on Sunday.