Seattle Mariners Get ‘Rocked’, Lose 9-3


Final. 9. 108. 3. 62

The Colorado Rockies (3-3) lit up the Seattle Mariners (4-4) on Tuesday afternoon in Scottsdale, AZ, winning by a final score of 9-3. Veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins (1-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up the W. Dominic Leone (0-1, 19.29 ERA) took the loss for the Mariners after getting smacked around in the fifth inning by the Rockies.

Felix Hernandez made his 2015 spring debut this afternoon for the Mariners. Hernandez faced the minimum and held the Rockies off the scoreboard through 2 innings today. The only blemish for Felix came in the first inning when he allowed a one out walk. Hernandez had a season for the ages in 2014, winning 15 games, and posting a league best 2.14 ERA. King Felix looked great today, and is locked in as the Mariners’ opening day starter against the Los Angeles Angels on April 6th.

More from Mariners News

The Mariners opened the scoring in the third inning. James Jones reached first after his ground ball was booted by Rockies’ third baseman Rafael Ynoa. The speedster made the Rockies pay for their blunder by swiping second base. Dustin Ackley worked the count full before delivering a two out RBI single to center field. Ackley had a great day at the dish, finishing a perfect 3 for 3. The bearded wonder was a key cog in the Mariners offense during the second half of last season, and he is now batting .400 this spring. The M’s took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third.

Brad Miller and Chris Taylor have been battling all spring to become the M’s starting shortstop in 2015, but on Tuesday, they combined to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead. Miller led off the top of the fourth by doubling on a sharp line drive to right field. Willie Bloomquist moved Miller over to third base on ground out, and Taylor plated Crazy Legs on a ground out to short. The Mariners have benefited greatly from the long ball this spring, but was nice to see them manufacture a couple of runs today. Playing fundamentally sound baseball is always important, and today’s performance shows the versatility of the Mariners offense.

Unfortunately, the M’s pitching did hold up their end of the bargain on Tuesday afternoon. Roenis Elias got another opportunity today to show why he deserves the final spot in the Mariners’ starting rotation. Elias pitched a scoreless third inning, and managed to retire the first two hitters he faced in the fourth. However, Justin Morneau doubled on line drive to right field to keep the inning alive. Wilson Rosario promptly tied the game at 2 by depositing the first pitch he saw into the lush green grass out in right center field.

Things went from bad to worse for the Mariners in the fifth inning. Dominic Leone is expected to play a big role in the Mariners bullpen in 2015, but you never would have guessed it on Tuesday. Leone allowed 7 runs on 5 hits, while retiring just one Rocky hitter. Wilson Rosario once again delivered the big blow in the inning. The 26-year-old backstop connected on his second home run of the day, this round tripper was of the three run variety, and gave the Rockies a seven run lead. Rosario had a splendid day offensively, going 3 for 4, with 2 home runs, and 5 RBI’s.

The Mariners attempted a 9th inning rally, but the seven run deficit was too large to overcome. Shawn O’Malley dug in with one out in the 9th inning. O’Malley got a changeup he could handle, and sent a line drive back through the box into center field for a single. O’Malley hustled around to third base on a John Baker single to right field. James Jones followed up with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring O’Malley, and making the score 9-3. The Lead was shrunk to just six runs, but that was as close as Seattle would get today.

The full box score from today’s game can be found here.

What Stood Out:

King Felix Makes Strong Debut

While it was clear Felix Hernandez was not quite in mid season form, he still had the heart of the Rockies’ lineup eating out of the palm of his hand. I’m sure he is upset with himself about issuing a free pass in the first inning, but he had good command of all his pitches this afternoon. The only noticeable difference between this spring and last September was the King’s knee high socks. This was a very solid first outing for Hernandez.

Shortstop Battle Update

Robinson Cano is still away from the team, and thus Brad Miller and Chris Taylor were both in the starting lineup up the middle for the third game in a row. Miller got the start at shortstop on Monday, but Taylor took his turn there on Tuesday. Miller’s hot hitting continued today, as he finished 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored. Miller had a pair of dingers in yesterday’s ballgame, and is putting together another impressive spring offensively. However, he had trouble fielding a ground ball at second base today, and registered his second error of the spring. Taylor has been no slouch with the lumber early this spring, and although he went 0 for 3 today, he is still hitting .357 in March. This competition is something to keep a close eye on this spring, but the takeaway is that both players are looking like strong candidates to start at short for the M’s in 2015.

Roenis Elias Falling Behind Taijuan Walker

Mar 10, 2015; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Roenis Elias (29) throws in the fourth inning Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Taijuan Walker dominated the Cleveland Indians for three innings on Monday afternoon in Peoria. Walker has now started this spring by pitching five consecutive shutout innings. Elias threw two scoreless frames in his start last week against the San Diego Padres, but he ran into some trouble this afternoon in Scottsdale. Elias surrendered a one out walk in the third inning today, but managed to escape unharmed. Elias looked shaky in the fourth inning, and ended up giving up a two run home run. Elias had a pretty good rookie season in Seattle, but Taijuan Walker is pitching himself into the Mariners staring rotation so far this spring. Elias will have to really pick it up during the next couple of weeks if he hopes to overtake Walker before opening day.

Looking Ahead

The Seattle Mariners (4-4) will return home to Peoria, AZ on Wednesday afternoon to play host to these very same Colorado Rockies (3-3). First pitch is set for 1:05 PST tomorrow afternoon from the Peoria Sports Complex. Wednesday’s game will be broadcast locally on Root Sports Northwest. Erasmo Ramirez (0-0, 4.62 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the M’s tomorrow against the Rockies. Ramirez will need a strong outing to stay alive in the race to win the final spot in the Mariners starting rotation.

Next: Seattle Mariners Ink Kevin Correia to Minor League Deal

More from SoDo Mojo