The Mariners scored a convincing — and drama-free — win over the Colorado Rockies, 10-4, giving Seattle its third straight victory.
DENVER — This time, there would be no drama. This time, there would be no anxiety-filled moments. The tying run wasn’t on base and the winning run wasn’t at the plate.
Of course, having a six-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth can ease that tension somewhat. Fernando Rodney worked an uneventful 1-2-3 inning to close out a 10-4 win over the Rockies on Tuesday night.
No worries, right?
Mariners @ Colorado, 12:10 p.m., ROOT
“Really?” manager Lloyd McClendon said with a chuckle. “You haven’t been in this ballpark much have you, if you think six runs is enough. When (Kyle) Seager fielded that ball (for the final out of the game), then I was relaxed.”
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It was the Mariners’ third straight win and fourth in their last five games. And in best summing up the frustration of this season for the team and the fans, it’s instructive to note that it was the first time they’ve won three games in a row since a sweep of the Rays in Tampa on May 25-27.
That’s a span of 62 games.
“There’s been so many things that have gone wrong with our season to date,” McClendon said. “But one thing I tell my players is there is nothing you can do about it now. … it gives us an opportunity to do something special since everybody is counting us out.”
Seattle (50-58) will attempt to tie its season-high win streak of four games on Wednesday to close out the series. They will also be going for their first three-game sweep since that Rays series.
“Really we just have to grind it out every day,” McClendon said. “I’m so proud of those guys in that locker room. They give me everything they’ve got every day.”
Seattle hitters have been loving spacious Coors Field, where the air is thin and balls seem to carry and carry. The Mariners banged out 14 hits in the game. Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano combined for five hits, three runs scored and four RBI.
And some credit must go to their beleaguered bullpen. With spot starter Vidal Nuno only working 32/3 innings, the bullpen picked up the rest, with four pitchers combining to allow just one run over 51/3 innings.
Reliever Rob Rasmussen, whom Seattle acquired before the trade deadline, was credited with the win — his first in the big leagues — after pitching 11/3 innings in relief of Nuno.
“I love my mom to death and she’ll be in tears of joy and that’s probably when it will hit me, when I call my parents and tell them,” he said.
The Mariners gave Nuno a quick 2-0 lead before he even took the mound against rookie right-hander Jon Gray, who was making his major-league debut.
Cano doubled home Seager with a laser into left-center. Cano later scored when Jesus Montero was able to get just enough of a 3-2 slider and served it into right field for a soft single.
The Rockies answered immediately in the bottom of the first when Charlie Blackmon led off with a solo homer to right-center to cut the lead in half at 2-1. It was the 10th time in his career he’s led off with a home run.
Nuno got the run back himself. In the fourth inning, Mark Trumbo was awarded two bases when Jose Reyes’ throw to first to double him off hit him in the helmet. With the runner on third, Nuno dumped a single into right. It broke a string of 52 hitless at-bats for Mariners’ pitchers. The last Mariners pitcher to get a hit was Hector Noesi on June 12, 2012.
“He gave something in,” Nuno said. “Lloyd told me I could swing and I found that pitch and elevated it a little.”
But Nuno couldn’t hold the lead. He gave up a two-run homer to Nick Hundley in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at 3-3. Nuno got one more out and then gave up a double to pinch-hitter Drew Stubbs, ending his day. McClendon went to the lefty Rasmussen to face the left-handed-hitting Blackmon. Rasmussen struck him out to end the inning.
Seattle grabbed the lead again in the sixth inning against Rockies reliever Christian Friederich. Trumbo singled up the middle, Miller reached on an error and Jesus Sucre sacrifice-bunted the runners into scoring position. McClendon then called on Franklin Gutierrez to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot. The veteran outfielder delivered, singling up the middle to score both runners and make it 5-3.
Again, Colorado answered in the bottom of the inning after the Mariners had scored. Kyle Parker led off with a Coors Field home run, hitting a towering fly ball to right-center off Mayckol Guaipe. Jackson tracked the ball, ready to catch it, but he ran out of room as the ball carried over the wall to make it 5-4.
But the Mariners continued to tack on insurance runs.
Cruz, who had extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the third inning, extended another streak, bashing his 31st home run of the season in the seventh inning, giving him homers in five straight games.