CHICAGO — Hector Noesi thinks he is a better pitcher than he was when he struggled at the start of the season. One of his former teams got a closer look at his improvement Sunday.
Noesi pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning for his first win in a month, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
“He’s a tough kid,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “I mean, he’s confident and he knows what he can do. Sometimes you get an opportunity and you run with it, and I think that’s what he’s done.”
Noesi (3-6) struck out five and walked two in 6 2/3 innings, bouncing back from a shaky outing against the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander pitched for Seattle for parts of three seasons before he was traded to Texas after two April relief appearances.
Noesi pitched in three games for the Rangers before he was let go again. Chicago claimed him off waivers April 25, and the crisp performance against the Mariners made him 3-5 with a 4.13 ERA in 14 games with the White Sox.
“Yeah, it did cross my mind,” Noesi said of pitching against Seattle, “but if I put it in my mind I would get lost trying to do too much.”
Chicago finished with just two hits after it had four in Saturday’s 3-2 loss in 14 innings. But Conor Gillaspie scored on a wild pitch in the first and Noesi combined with two relievers on a five-hitter.
Eric Surkamp got Robinson Cano to fly out with the bases loaded for the final out of the seventh, and Jake Petricka pitched two innings for his third save in four chances. The solid relief work came one day after the White Sox blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning.
“We didn’t swing the bats extremely well,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Balls we did hit hard they made great plays on. That’s the way it goes. That’s baseball.”