Rockies 8, Mariners 7 at Salt River Fields
The Mariners squandered a solid outing by Rob Whalen and five-run lead going into the eighth inning in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies. Seattle also had Nelson Cruz (strained quad) and Andrew Romine (shoulder injury) leave the game.
The Rockies scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth off of reliever Art Warren, who didn’t get much help from his defense to cut the Mariners lead to 7-6.
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Dan Altavilla, who had been dominant all spring, gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Colorado’s Derrik Gibson dropped a linedrive just in front of Chuck Taylor in left field. Taylor tried to make a tough sliding catch, but the ball dropped inches in front of him.
Seattle banged out 14 hits with Mike Ford driving in a pair of runs with a double while Cruz, Romine, Daniel Vogelbach and Gordon Beckham all drove in runs.
Player of the game
Whalen delivered an outstanding performance and has moved himself into consideration for the fifth spot in the rotation if Erasmo Ramirez isn’t ready to go. Whalen pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. He pitched out of early trouble using a nasty curveball to get the punchouts.
“Strikeouts aren’t usually a part of my game so that’s nice to see, but they were just trying to be aggressive in the strikezone,” he said. “I was feeling good and feeling comfortable with all my pitches. I really mixed everything in today. I made some adjustments. That’s kind of the difference between this year and times in the past when I couldn’t make those adjustments.”
“Awesome outing by Whalen, highlight of the day. He probably didn’t have his best stuff. He had a really good curveball. I thought the velocity was a tick back from what we’ve seen earlier in camp. But the curveball was outstanding.” — manager Scott Servais.
The Mariners return to Peoria Stadium to host the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday evening. Left-hander James Paxton will get the start for Seattle. Also scheduled to pitch are right-handers Dan Altavilla, David Phelps, Casey Lawrence and Mike Morin. The Giants starter is to be announced. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. The game will televised on Root Sports and broadcast on ESPN 710 and mariners.com.