Mariners’ bats got going early and never stopped, delivering 14 hits for an emphatic 10-4 road victory (box score) over the Colorado Rockies (44-61) Tuesday night at Coors Field. Starting pitcher Vidal Nuño gave up three runs off five hits in 3.2 innings. Seattle (50-58) has won three in a row. Nelson Cruz homered for the fifth consecutive game.
In the top of the sixth with runners at first and second, Franklin Gutierrez came in as a pinch-hitter in the 9-spot and dropped a single into center field, scoring both runners to break a 3-3 tie.
Cruz’s homer came in the top of the seventh, his 31st of the season going well past the 415 foot wall in deep center. Cruz is one behind the Angels’ Mike Trout in the home run race in the American League. Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBI. The 10 runs by the M’s is the second time they have put up double-digit numbers this season, the last May 12 against the Padres.
In his starting debut, Nuño also managed a base hit in the top of the fourth, breaking Seattle’s MLB pitchers record 0-for-52 skid dating to 2012. The hit drove in Mark Trumbo.
Rob Rasmussen recorded the win in his second game in for Seattle, relieving Nuño in the fourth. Rasmussen pitched 1.1 innings, striking out two and surrendering no hits or walks.
Mayckol Guaipe, Joe Biemel and Fernando Rodney finished off, only Guaipe surrendering any hits (4). With a comfortable lead, Rodney fanned his first two opponents and had Jose Reyes ground out to end the game.
“Hitting’s like anything else in this game, it can be contagious, and I hope that’s what’s happening right now.” – Manager Lloyd McClendon
Cruz’s streak, his second of five games this season, closes in on the record eight, held by Dale Long, Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr. . . . Rockies starter Jon Gray, touted as “the new face of the Rockies,” was spotty in his major league debut. Gray gave up three runs off five hits and walked two in four innings of work, striking out four.
The series winds up starting at 12:10 p.m. PT Wednesday with Seattle’s Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.73 ERA) opposite Chris Rusin (3-4, 4.61 ERA). A win makes for a Seattle series sweep and would match a season-best streak of four wins in a row.