SEATTLE -- A day after getting a perfect game thrown against them, the Mariners did away Sunday with the row of goose eggs on the Safeco Field scoreboard. But they couldn't put up enough numbers to top the White Sox, as their losing streak reached four with a 7-4 loss.
The Mariners closed out their first homestand with a 3-6 mark that puts them at 7-10 for the season. They now head out on a three-city, 10-day road trip beginning Tuesday in Detroit.
The young Seattle hitters did wash some of the sour taste of Saturday's perfect game by Philip Humber away with an eight-hit, four-walk afternoon in which they had baserunners in seven of the nine innings.
But a lack of timely hits again cost the Mariners, as they went just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position, leaving them 5-for-42 (.119) in that situation over the past five games.
"All we are is a couple big hits from really breaking loose," second baseman Dustin Ackley said, after a 1-for-5 day left his average at .242 for the season. "Hopefully with the day off tomorrow, we can get back started on Tuesday."
Kevin Millwood took the loss -- his first decision as a Mariner -- while allowing eight hits and five runs in 5 1/3 innings. After a nice debut in Texas, the 37-year-old has allowed 12 earned runs over 9 1/3 innings his last two outings, and his ERA stands at 7.04.
The veteran right-hander weaved his way through five innings against the White Sox with a 4-2 lead before getting knocked out with one out in the sixth.
The Mariners threw two runners out at the plate to help Millwood's cause, but he gave up a two-run triple to Alex Rios that tied the game in the sixth, and Rios crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly against reliever Charlie Furbush to give Chicago a 5-4 lead.
"It came down to the fact when I needed to make a pitch to get out of an inning or out of a jam, I just couldn't do it," said Millwood. "I felt my stuff was good, I just didn't make the pitches when I needed to. I haven't seen the replay on the pitch to Rios, but when I threw it, I thought it was a pretty good pitch."
Rios finished the day 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and the veteran right fielder has hit .455 (15-for-33) with six runs, three doubles a triple and six RBIs in his past 11 games against Seattle. But the 31-year-old has been hitting everyone lately, going 10-for-20 over his past six outings to raise his season average to .333.
"He's kind of doing everything, pulling the inside pitch, going the other way on something away, so it's something he's been working on," said White Sox skipper Robin Ventura. "He just looks very comfortable at the plate, and confident."
The White Sox have now won eight straight at Safeco Field, and are 18-3 vs. Seattle since the start of the 2010 season.
Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen suffered his first rough outing in nine appearances this season, allowing four hits and two runs in the eighth. Wilhelmsen had been touched for just one run in his 10 prior innings.
The White Sox helped the Mariners a bit in the fourth inning, when starter John Danks threw wildy to first on a pickoff attempt with no outs and runners on first and second. Miguel Olivo scored all the way from second for the go-ahead run at 3-2.
Then, after Brendan Ryan walked to put runners on first and third, White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham threw high to second on a double-play attempt on a ground ball by Ackley, and Casper Wells scored.
Seattle had already put up two runs in the third on an RBI single by Jesus Montero and a run-scoring double by Alex Liddi, who made his first career start at first base as Justin Smoak sat out.
But that was all the offense the Mariners could muster, as they endured their fifth loss in the past six games and first series sweep of the season.
"We're just a tick off," said Chone Figgins, who walked and scored in the third inning in an 0-for-3 day. "We're just not finishing. Obviously we're facing some good pitchers, too, but there've been situations where we can do more damage. We're just not at that point yet.
"It'd be nice to get that big explosion one game and then get it for a stretch, for a homestand or road trip. But we'll get there."
That was the common theme among the Mariners as they packed for the upcoming trip to Detroit, Toronto and Tampa Bay.
"You can't panic," said Millwood, a 16-year Major League veteran. "We're 16 or 17 games in, so panicking is definitely not the answer. We're swinging the bats well, we're a pitch here and a pitch there from holding teams down. It's just one of those things you've got to get through, and hopefully there'll be more good stretches than bad."