DENVER – Third baseman Kyle Seager ranged far to his left on a chopper in the hole, stuck out his glove and snow-coned the ball, only to have it pop out as he went to throw.
So close to making a sensational play in the sixth. So close to preserving Kevin Millwood’s no-hit bid.
Still, this was an electric performance for the 37-year-old journeyman pitcher.
Millwood tossed a two-hitter for his first shutout in nearly nine years and Mike Carp hit a solo homer, helping the Seattle Mariners snap a four-game skid with a 4-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
Millwood (2-4) comfortably cruised through this game and didn’t surrender his first hit until two outs in the sixth, when Marco Scutaro’s bouncer slipped away from Seager.
No matter, Jordan Pacheco followed with a clean single up the middle.
“Yeah, but make that play and it ends the inning,” Seager said, shaking his head. “You’re in the next inning and you never know. That’s a play I’d like to make.
“If that was the only hit he gave up, I would’ve hoped for anything they would’ve given me an error there.”
Millwood lauded Seager’s lunge.
“Tough play,” he said. “Nothing he could do. He gave it a good effort. That’s all you can hope for.
“It would’ve been great if he made the play and could’ve had fun for a little longer. But he made all the effort he could.”
On a night when Detroit’s Justin Verlander came within two outs of yet another no-hitter, Millwood made a run of his own in the Mile High City.
“He’ll get more,” Millwood said of Verlander.
“I don’t know,” he said, grinning.
Millwood struck out seven and walked one. He didn’t allow a runner to reach third until the ninth inning, but got Carlos Gonzalez to line out to end the game.
“He was banging the corners and he had late movement. He was mixing his pitches,” Scutaro explained. “It wasn’t like we were hitting a bunch of hard balls. Sometimes you have to give credit to the guy.”
Carp hit his third homer of the season in the second, a towering shot to the deepest part of the park. Seager had an RBI single and drove in another on a sacrifice fly. John Jaso added an insurance run the ninth by bringing in Seager on a sacrifice fly.
Alex White (0-3) was the hard-luck loser, dropping his sixth straight start in a dubious string that dates back to Sept. 16.
Millwood has one no-hitter, beating the San Francisco Giants 1-0 on April 27, 2003, when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies.
A nifty slide by Ichiro Suzuki in the sixth staked the Mariners to a 3-0 lead, which was more than enough for Millwood. The speedy Ichiro got a good jump as he tagged on Seager’s shallow fly.
Although Gonzalez’s throw was on target – and arrived about the same time – Ichiro managed to avoid Wilin Rosario’s tag before slapping his hand on the plate.
The Mariners scratched out a run in the first when Saunders laced a triple into the right-center gap and was brought in when Seager blooped a single center.