DENVER (The Sports Xchange) – A Seattle Mariners road trip that began with a multitude of losses and a minimal number of runs ended exceedingly well Tuesday night.
The Mariners pounded the Colorado Rockies 10-3 to sweep the two-game series and win their third straight game, one shy of their season high.
The loss was the third in four games for the Rockies, who had led the National League West since May 3 but slipped into second place, a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mariners banged out a season-high 19 hits, including homers by Kyle Seager, who had four RBIs, and Robinson Cano and a season-high-tying four hits from Jean Segura.
Seattle finished an arduous road trip that began with stops in Boston and Washington with a 4-4 record. In the four losses, the Mariners were shut out twice and twice scored one run.
“When you win a couple ballgames, people start feeling better about themselves,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Not just our team, but all teams. They get caught up in the momentum, you start feeling better coming to the ballpark, and you start getting that feeling that we’re going to win tonight, and we’re going to score runs tonight.
“We certainly didn’t have that feeling for about a seven- or eight-game stretch there. It was really a struggle. Nice to see our guys come out of it feeling good about themselves. They get to go home … and hopefully keep it going there.”
As they did while beating the Rockies 6-5 on Monday, the Mariners got five innings from their starter, this time left-hander Ariel Miranda (5-2), before turning matters over to their bullpen. But it wasn’t a matter of Miranda being hit hard.
He gave up three hits and two runs in five innings with four walks. Miranda put the leadoff man on in four straight innings but escaped unscathed until DJ LeMahieu looped a broken-bat, two-run single with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth to cut the Mariners’ lead to 6-2.
“Miranda literally ran out of gas,” Servais said. “Understanding the altitude here, he busted his butt down the line on a ground ball (in the second), and then he flies out (in the third) and was almost on second base. He can really run. Unfortunately, not the greatest idea for pitchers all the time.”
Rockies starter Tyler Anderson (3-5) had gone 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his previous four starts. However, he struggled with his command Tuesday while giving up a career-high-tying six runs — three apiece in the second and third — and a career-high 11 hits.
“Just didn’t have very good command,” Anderson said, “so a lot of things were up in the zone because I had a hard time throwing it so I had to go middle and hope for the best.
“You got to make quality pitches is how you get guys out. You don’t get guys out by throwing balls in the middle. The hitters are too good.”
Anderson issued his two walks in the second and paid for it. After a leadoff walk to Nelson Cruz, Seager belted his fifth homer. Anderson walked Guillermo Heredia, who scored when Mike Zunino followed with a double into the left field corner and Ian Desmond overran the ball.
Seager’s two-run double in the third was the third straight hit to begin the inning, following Cano’s single and a double by Ben Gamel. Heredia’s single scored Seager.
“We were able to put pressure on guys,” Seager said. “It’s definitely good when you see runs scored, and you can breathe a little easier.”
Cano led off the seventh with his 10th homer to make it 7-2. LeMahieu’s grounder netted a run in the eighth and gave him a career-high-tying three RBIs.
Five singles in the ninth off Carlos Estevez, who was recalled Tuesday, brought home Seattle’s final three runs and left Estevez with a pitching line that was far more damaging than it appeared.
“He wasn’t hit hard,” said Rockies manager Bud Black, who gave a blow-by-blow recount of each hit. “The modern-day exit velocity on those hits were not off the charts.”
NOTES: Mariners RF Nelson Cruz left the game in the second inning due to right calf tightness. … Rockies RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 10-day disabled list, and RHP Carlos Estevez was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. … Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon was named National League Player of the Week for the period ending May 28. He is second among NL outfielders in the first round of All-Star voting. … Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (right shoulder inflammation) threw all his pitches in his second bullpen session, a 30-pitch effort, and will next throw a two-inning simulated game. … Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (right shoulder inflammation) felt much better throwing fastballs and changeups in his second 30-pitch bullpen session and is scheduled to incorporate all of his pitches in a third one. … Mariners LHP James Paxton (left forearm strain) is scheduled to be reinstated Wednesday to start against the Rockies in Seattle. … Rockies RHP Jon Gray (left foot stress fracture) is scheduled to throw his second bullpen session Wednesday without a walking boot.