Chicago White Sox are the 1st team to lose 50 games this season — and they did so in grand fashion

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SEATTLE — The Chicago White Sox became the first team in the majors to lose 50 games this season in grand fashion Monday.

Cal Raleigh hit a game-ending grand slam in the ninth inning against reliever Jordan Leasure as the Seattle Mariners stormed back to beat the Sox 8-4 in front of 23,027 at T-Mobile Park.

The Sox had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth, only for the Mariners to pull even — with three of the four runs allowed in the inning by Michael Kopech.

The Mariners loaded the bases with two walks and a single in the ninth, setting the stage for Raleigh’s walk-off slam.

“Those two guys (Kopech and Leasure) have battled for us all year,” Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “They’ve taken the ball in tough situations. Every time those guys come in, they don’t have easy innings. Those guys are always pitching leverage. It’s feast or famine for those guys. And that’s the job when you’re pitching at the back end.”

The Sox built a four-run lead thanks to a two-run homer by Luis Robert Jr. in the sixth, an RBI single by Lenyn Sosa in the seventh and a solo homer by Corey Julks in the eighth.

Starter Erick Fedde was phenomenal, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk in seven-plus innings. He got out of a two-on, one-out jam without allowing a run in the seventh, inducing an inning-ending double play. He returned for the eighth and allowed a home run to Dominic Canzone.

“He asked me how I was feeling, I said ‘I feel good,’” Fedde said of his conversation with Grifol before the eighth. “At that point — for sure — strong.

“Trying to throw that cutter up in the zone and I yanked it down and in. Most lefties hit that pretty far. That was a bummer.”

Mariners' Cal Raleigh celebrates his walk-off grand slam to beat the White Sox at T-Mobile Park on June 10, 2024 in Seattle. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Mariners’ Cal Raleigh celebrates his walk-off grand slam to beat the White Sox at T-Mobile Park on June 10, 2024 in Seattle. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Grifol said the plan was to maybe go “hitter to hitter” or “a couple of guys” with Fedde.

“Once he gave up that home run, I wanted to give Kopech basically a clean inning,” Grifol said.

Kopech surrendered a single, a walk and another single to load the bases. He struck out the next two hitters and had Mitch Haniger in an 0-2 hole before giving up a two-run single to right, as the Mariners sliced the Sox lead to 4-3.

“The results of me overthrowing instead of pitching kind of gave them an opportunity to put some runs on the board,” Kopech said. “I could have thought more about execution to Haniger there on that bloop single instead of just trying to out-power him. He put the right swing on a pitch that was not well executed.”

Luke Raley followed with a bunt single, bringing home Josh Rojas to tie the score.

“That’s probably the last guy in baseball I expected to bunt in that situation,” Kopech said. “For that, I guess I can tip my hat.”

Leasure later entered with the bases loaded and got Canzone to ground out to end the eighth and keep the score tied.

“I could have handled that inning better and then given Leasure and opportunity to handle the ninth, but instead he had to come into a really difficult situation, did a great job of getting out of it,” Kopech said. “But one of the hardest things to do as a reliever is to have that high of a moment, sit down and come out and do it again the next inning.”

The Mariners got to Leasure in the ninth as the Sox began a seven-game trip with a heartbreaker. The Sox (17-50) are off to their worst 67-game start in franchise history — previously 21-46 in 1934. The Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies are tied for the second-most losses this season, each with 43.

“That one hurts, for multiple reasons,” Kopech said. “To be blunt, Fedde pitched his ass off and I kind of gave away a really well-played game by us.”

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