Arrow-right Camera

Color Scheme

Subscribe now
Seattle Mariners

Offense wakes up in nightcap as Mariners earn doubleheader split with Rockies

Seattle's Cal Raleigh is congratulated by Manny Acta after hitting a home run against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field in Denver.  (Getty Images)
Ryan Divish Seattle TImes

DENVER — All the frustration from those failed plate appearances with runners on base, resulting in a disappointing loss to start their Sunday, well, the Mariners took it out on what was left of the Rockies pitching staff less than two hours later in the nightcap of the split doubleheader.

After being held scoreless for nine innings and mustering only one run a 2-1 loss in 10 innings in the opening game of the split doubleheader vs. one of the worst teams in the National League, the Mariners made sure they still won the three-game series, crushing Colorado, 10-2, in the nightcap.

Seattle banged out 13 hits and scored double-digit runs for the first time this season and got a solid outing from starter Emerson Hancock to improve to 11-11 on the season.

The Mariners will have Monday off before opening a three-game series vs. the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers, who sit a ½ game ahead of them in the American League West standings.

After the Mariners run of nine consecutive quality starts — six-plus innings pitched, three runs or fewer allowed — was snapped in the first game of the doubleheader by one inning with George Kirby only working five scoreless innings, Hancock came back with his second straight quality start.

He gave Seattle six shutout innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts to improve to 2-2. Of the 24 batters he faced, he threw 21 first-pitch strikes.

The outing didn’t begin well for the rookie right-hander. He had given up two runs in the first three batters he faced.

It started when Ezequiel Tovar led off with a ground ball to second base that should have been an easy out. Instead Jorge Polanco misplayed it for an error. Hancock added to the problem by walking Ryan McMahon.

Both runners would score when Elias Diaz lashed a fly ball off the wall in right field for a two-run double.

But Hancock limited the damage to just the two runs, one of which was unearned.

He came back to retire the next three hitters in a row. It was the start of 11 consecutive hitters retired after the Diaz double.

Down 2-0 after the first inning, the Mariners answered with six runs in the top of the second against Rockies starter Peter Lambert, batting around in the frame.

After Ty France led off with a double and Jorge Polanco singled to right, Dylan Moore drove in the first run with a sac fly to left field. Seattle loaded the bases when Lambert hit Luke Raley and Luis Urias with fastballs.

It brough to the plate backup catcher Seby Zavala, who was hitless in 12 plate appearances this season. He tied the game with a single to left field to score Polanco.

The Mariners broke it open when J.P. Crawford thought he’d hit the second grand slam of his career. He smashed a deep fly ball to right-center that seemed like it would carry over the fence. Instead, it hit the mesh fencing that was added to the wall in 2017 about a foot away from going over. Crawford had to settle for a three-run triple instead.

Per MLB StatCast, Crawford’s 426-foot blast would’ve been a homer in every other park in MLB other than Coors Field.

He scored moments later on a wild pitch from Lambert with Julio Rodriguez at the plate.

Seattle pushed the lead to 9-2 in the sixth inning. Zavala, who had three hits on the night, doubled to left and scored on Rodriguez’s single to center. Cal Raleigh, who had four hits, including his fourth homer of the season on Saturday night, added to his team lead, smashing a two-run homer over the wall in center.

Rockies 2, Mariners 1 (10 innings)

For only the third time in Coors Field, the two teams made in through nine complete innings without scoring a run.

Both teams had plenty of chances to scratch out a run in regulation. The Mariners were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

After J.P. Crawford gave them a 1-0 lead with a run-scoring single to start the top of the 10th, closer Andres Muñoz didn’t record an out in the bottom of the inning, allowing three straight hits, including Ryan McMahon’s walk-off infield single with Charlie Blackmon at third base.

“Crazy game,” manager Scott Servais said immediately after the game. “It’s a tough way to lose this first game and we have a long day here.”

That the Mariners even had a lead and a chance to win the game was a bit fortuitous.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a scoreless game, Stallings launched a ball to felt field. Dylan Moore, who had been playing second base for most of the game but moved to the outfield for the ninth inning, tracked the ball off the bat.

With the wind knocking fly balls down for much of the day, he recognized he might have a play. He got to the fence and made a leaping attempt to catch it. As he went to grab it, his glove hit off the arm of a fan leaning over the fence to make the catch with his glove. Neither person caught the ball. It hit off the fan’s glove and back into play.

Moore grabbed the ball and fired it back into second base where Stallings was standing with his hands raised in confusion.

Nobody was quite sure what had happened. Rockies manager Bud Black asked for a crew chief review to see if it was a home run.

Upon replay review, it was not a homer. Instead, it was an out due to fan interference to end the inning.

Seattle had plenty of opportunities to scratch out a run against Rockies starter Cal Quantrill, who allowed a runner to reach base in all but one of the six innings he pitched. But the Mariners couldn’t come up with any key hits — they didn’t get a hit off Quantrill after the second inning.

“When you have that much traffic, you look up and you feel like we should be up in the game by four or five runs and we were not,” Servais said.

The Mariners’ streak of consecutive quality starts came to an end at eight when George Kirby didn’t come back out for the sixth inning.

“He didn’t feel 100% but he gave us everything he had,” Servais said. “And he kept us right there.”

His final line: five shutout innings, five hits allowed, one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches with 63 strikes with 15 first-pitch strikes to the 21 batters he faced.

Kirby admitted that he was dealing with some mild arm soreness.

“I just wasn’t 100% today,” he said. “I don’t tell myself I’m not feeling good. I know the velocity wasn’t there. But I can still pitch really well at any speed. I need to execute and compete.”

And the soreness?

“It will be gone by tomorrow probably,” Kirby said.