Solid at home, Moore struggles in road debut

Solid at home, Moore struggles in road debut

CHICAGO -- It'd been awhile since Andrew Moore has had an outing like this -- nearly a year, in fact.

Before his start in the Mariners' 7-6 win over the White Sox, the young righty hadn't allowed five or more runs in an outing at any level since Aug. 29, 2016, when he was with the Double-A Jackson Generals.

For that, Moore didn't seem too eager to get back into the tape of his Sunday start, saying there were other areas he wanted to target before he took the mound again.

"I'll probably just try to flush it," Moore said. "That was probably the main thing that Skip and [Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre] had to say. Just go back to getting in my mechanics and getting aggressive with hitters early on in counts."

As Moore alluded to, he fell behind early and often on Sunday, tallying only three first-pitch strikes his first time through the order. By the time he made it through the third inning, his pitch count was already at 75. It took him 90 pitches to get through six innings in his last start and 101 pitches to get through eight innings in the start before that.

"I think fastball command was the one thing that kinda let me down," Moore said. "Just wasn't sharp. Was kind of getting in bad counts. Then we started going to off-speed earlier and just made some mistakes with that."

Moore finished the outing having surrendered six hits and five runs through three innings. He allowed three home runs, something that has been a bit of a constant for him in the Majors.

Avisail Garcia's two-homer game

"He was disappointed. He wanted to give us a better effort than that," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He's not used to having that happen to him. He's been very consistent throughout his Minor League career and so far for us in the big leagues.

"But on the road, if you're not locating that fastball, the way the ball was kinda getting out of here today, it can happen. He'll learn from it, he'll be fine. He'll get the ball again and go from there."

And certainly it's an easier message to take in a win, which was the case on Sunday.

While Moore surrendered three homers, the Mariners came through with three of their own, including a go-ahead solo shot by Nelson Cruz in the 10th to win the game.

Cruz's go-ahead home run

The Mariners left Chicago having recorded their first sweep over the Sox in more than a decade and reprieving Moore from what would've been the second loss of his Major League career.

"That just goes to show: you never know what run is going to win or lose the game, so [you've] just got to fight as much as you can," Moore said. "Bullpen picked us up, offense picked us up. That was big."

Scott Chasen is a reporter with MLB.com based in Chicago who covered the Mariners on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.