SEATTLE — Johnny Cueto did what he could.
It just wasn’t enough against Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert, and the White Sox fell back to three games behind the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central standings after a 3-0 loss Tuesday night.
Gilbert (12-5, 3.23 ERA) was a handful, striking out nine and walking one over six innings of five-hit ball as Seattle (77-59) evened the three-game series which concludes Wednesday afternoon.
Cueto was right there battling Gilbert, allowing one run over six-plus innings, his team-high 16th start of six or more innings. Cueto lowered his ERA to 2.87, allowing five hits, three walks and striking out three. It was a 1-0 game until Cal Raleigh’s two-run homer in the eighth against Reynaldo Lopez with two outs.
The Sox (68-68) were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.
The Mariners got their run in the fourth when Ty France led off with a double, took third on Mitch Haniger’s fly ball and was awarded home when right fielder Gavin Sheets’ throw to third got past third baseman Yoan Moncada and went beyong Cueto’s reach backing up and out of play off a TV camera.
Moncada tried to make a swipe tag but probably had no play and haphazardly let the ball get by him.
Matt Brash, Andres Munoz and Paul Sewald finished up with scoreless relief as the Mariners (77-59) won after having a seven-game winning streak snapped Monday. The Sox lost for the second time in seven games.
Luis Robert was struck by a pitch from Gilbert on his left hand during his first at-bat and left the game after his second at-bat. X-rays were negative, Robert has a bruise, and he’s day-to-day.
Robert has been dealing with a sore left wrist which, along with a brief paternity leave, kept him out of the lineup for two weeks. When he took his left hand off the bat on a swing, it appeared he might be dealing with the same issue, but the hit by pitch only complicated things.
He was replaced by Adam Engel, who led off the seventh against Brash with a single but was promptly thrown out stealing for the first out.
Moncada had two singles in his first two at-bats after coming off the injured list.