It turns out that “There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to keep the Seattle Mariners (50-58) from winning, as they defeated the Colorado Rockies (44-61) 10-4 on Tuesday night from 5,000 ft above sea level. With the win, Seattle has now won 3 consecutive games for the first time since late May. Rob Rasmussen (1-0, 3.86 ERA) earned the first win of his career this evening for the M’s. Christian Friedrich (0-3, 4.73 ERA) took the loss for Colorado.
Vidal Nuno made his first start as a Mariner on Tuesday night in Denver. The 28-year-old southpaw has 31 career starts under his belt, but he has functioned as a middle-reliever for the M’s since being acquired in June. Nuno struggled in his return to the rotation, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits across 3.2 innings of work. He fanned 3 and walked 2 while surrendering a pair of long balls. Nuno was not bad tonight, but I expect the M’s opt to call-up Roenis Elias prior to Vidal’s next start.
Thankfully, the Mariners’ bullpen was excellent this evening in the hitters paradise known as Coors Field. Newcomer, Rob Rasmussen hurled 1.1 perfect innings in relief for Seattle. Mayckol Guaipe was recalled from Tacoma earlier in the day, and he allowed 1 run over 1.1 innings of work. Joe Beimel held the Rockies’ bats at bay through 1.2 innings. Fernando Rodney retired the side in the 9th to secure the M’s big win.
Jon Gray made his big league debut tonight for the home side. The Rockies’ top prospect fared reasonably well, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned on 5 hits across 4 innings. The 23-year-old right-hander clearly has a live arm, and it doesn’t take a scout to recognize his immense upside. Christian Friedrich was called on to pitch the 5th, and he coughed up 2 runs in his 2 innings of work. Scott Oberg allowed 1 run to cross the plate in the 7th, and Rafael Betancourt surrendered 3 runs in 8th.
The Mariners had little trouble scoring tonight, and they tallied 14 hits as a unit. Robinson Cano led the way offensively, going 2 for 4 with a double, 3 RBI’s and a walk. Nelson Cruz had another strong game, finishing 2 for 4 with a solo home run and a walk. Franklin Gutierrez came though with a 2-run pinch hit single in the top of the 6th inning. Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson, Seth Smith and Vidal Nuno accounted for the other Mariners’ runs tonight. Brad Miller and Mark Trumbo contributed a pair of hits each to the Seattle cause.
Colorado was paced by Kirkland, WA product, Nick Hundley. The Rockies’ backstop went 2 for 4 with a 2-run dinger. Charlie Blackmon went 1 for 5 with a solo home run, and Kyle Parker went yard for a solo shot of his own. DJ LeMahieu made his first All- Star appearance this summer for Colorado, and he finished 2 for 4 with a run scored this evening.
Aug 4, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Nelson Cruz (23) grounds a baseball in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Cruz is tearing the cover off the ball right now, and it is no coincidence that the Mariners have played some of their best baseball of the season this week. After tonight’s performance, Cruz has now homered in 5 consecutive games. The is his second 5-game home run streak of the season. The 34-year-old has also hit safely in each of the last 15 games. Cruz is batting .433 with 10 home runs and 14 RBI’s during his impressive streak. It is a long shot that Seattle can claw back in the race, but Cruz is generating plenty of excitement right now in the Emerald City.
Seattle’s recent winning streak has helped their standing in the American League West immensely. The M’s are 10 games back of the division leading Houston Astros, and they are just 6 games out in the wildcard hunt. I’m still not convinced the Mariners can make a run, but it is nice to see them making things interesting.
The Seattle Mariners (50-58) will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon against the Colorado Rockies (44-61) at Coors Field. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 pm from Denver, CO. Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.73 ERA) recorded a 1-hitter his last time out, and hopefully he can duplicate his performance on Wednesday for the M’s. Chris Rusin (3-4, 4.61 ERA) will get the ball for the home side in the series finale. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.
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