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Seattle Mariners

Luis Castillo, Mariners offense sizzle in frigid, snowy win over Rockies

By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

DENVER – Maybe the Mariners should hope for frigid temperatures and intermittent snowfall for Sunday’s doubleheader.

Playing in less than favorable conditions, including a frigid, first-pitch temperature of 33 degrees, which is the second-coldest game in franchise history, and dealing with snowflakes in their eyes and lines of sight for multiple innings, the Mariners delivered their most complete game of the season.

After watching snow and cold postpone the opening game of the series on Friday, Seattle got a brilliant starting pitching performance from Luis Castillo, racked up a season-high 15 hits, including four-hit games from Cal Raleigh and Julio Rodriguez, worked six walks and rolled to a decisive 7-0 victory over the Rockies.

With the win, the Mariners got back to .500 at 10-10 on the season. They’ve won six of their past eight games.

Per Mariners media-relations search of Baseball Reference and team records, it was just the second game they played and finished with snow falling. They are 2-0 in snow games.

Making his fifth start of the season, and having taken the loss in the previous four, Castillo delivered his best outing of the season in the cold.

He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with a walk and a nine strikeouts. The Rockies never had a runner reach second base against him.

For the third time in four games, the Mariners forced an opposing starting pitcher out of the game before finishing the fifth. After walking Raleigh to start the fifth, Rockies starter Dakota Hudson saw his outing come to an end with 91 pitches thrown.

His final line: four innings pitched, four runs allowed (three earned) on six hits with five walks and one strikeout.

Hudson allowed a base runner in every inning he stepped on the mound. The Mariners grabbed a 1-0 lead when Raleigh stayed on a first-pitch sinker running away from him, sending a fly ball just over the wall in left-center. The opposite-field solo blast was Raleigh’s fourth homer of the season – most on the team.

But he wasn’t finished, he made it Raleigh 2, Rockies 0 in the third. After Rodriguez notched the first of his four singles in the game and then stole second base, Raleigh delivered with two outs. He took another first pitch from Hudson and pulled a line drive into right field to score Rodriguez easily from second base.

Seattle took advantage of the first of three errors committed by the Rockies. When first baseman Elehuris Montero went too far away from the bag to try and field a ground ball off the bat of J.P. Crawford and then failing to do it cleanly, it kept the fourth inning alive for Rodriguez.

With runners on first and third, he singled up the middle to score Josh Rojas from third to give Seattle a 3-0 lead.

The Mariners broke the game open in the fifth. After Hudson walked Raleigh to start the inning, Rockies manager Bud Black brought in right-hander Victor Vodnik. He allowed back-to-back singles to Ty France and Mitch Garver to load the bases.

Rookie Jonatan Clase unloaded them with some help from Rockies right fielder Sam Bouchard.

Clase hit a bouncing ball through the right side of the infield that rolled slowly out to Bouchard. Perhaps focused on making a throw home to get Garver, Bouchard allowed the ball to roll under his glove. All three base runners scored on the play and Clase, who is one of the fastest players in MLB, tried to circle the bases for a “Little League homer.” But second baseman Alan Trejo made a perfect relay throw to home and catcher Elias Diaz tagged the sliding Clase just before he touched home.

Rodriguez put a capper on the four-run inning, driving in Rojas from second with a ground ball up the middle that hit the second-base bag and bounced away from Trejo for an RBI single.