Seattle Mariners

Iwakuma falters late in duel with Rockies’ Bettis

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma sits in the dugout after being relieved in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, in Seattle.
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma sits in the dugout after being relieved in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, in Seattle. AP

Hisashi Iwakuma blinked first Friday night in his pitchers’ duel against Colorado right-hander Chad Bettis. And Iwakuma blinked hard.

Hard enough, anyway.

The Rockies strung together five straight one-out hits against Iwakuma in the seventh inning, including a three-run homer by Dustin Garneau, and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field.

Bettis (7-5), the former Tri-City Dust Devil, never blinked in his seven innings, but the Mariners quickly found life when the Rockies called on Christian Friedrich to protect a three-run in the eighth.

Shawn O’Malley batted for James Jones and drew a leadoff walk. Kyle Seager then jumped a first-pitch slider for a two-run homer.

That quickly, the Mariners were back to within 3-2.

Seager’s homer was his 24th, which is just one shy of his career-best 25, set a year ago. That was it, though. The Mariners got no closer.

Colorado replaced Friedrich with Justin Miller, who got a borderline strike-three call on Nelson Cruz. Then another switch, to Boone Logan, who retired Robinson Cano on a grounder to first.

Then still another matchup switch to Jairo Diaz, who issued a four-pitch walk to Mark Trumbo. After Ketel Marte entered the game as a pinch-runner, Seth Smith struck out.

The Rockies added an insurance run in the ninth against Tony Zych on a two-out wild pitch before John Axford closed out the victory for his 22nd save.

The loss dropped the Mariners to 68-74 with 20 games remaining. They are seven games behind Texas for the American League’s final wild-card berth.

Iwakuma (7-4) carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning in quest of the Mariners’ third straight shutout victory — something that’s never been done in the franchise’s 39 years.

It still hasn’t.

The roof caved in on Iwakuma after DJ LeMahieu opened the inning with a grounder to short. Justin Morneau and Ben Paulsen delivered successive singles before Garneau crushed a first-pitch curve.

Garneau’s drive caromed off the scoreboard in dead left field for a three-run homer, which halted the Mariners’ scoreless streak at 24 innings over two-plus games.

When Daniel Descalso and and Charlie Blackmon followed with singles — five straight hits — the Mariners went to their bullpen for Danny Farquhar.

Colorado’s breakthrough came right after the Mariners failed to capitalize on a two-on, no-out opportunity in the sixth. Jones led off with a single up the middle and went to second when Seager walked.

Bettis squelched the threat by, first, getting Cruz to ground into a double play. Jones moved to third but, after an intentional walk to Cano, Trumbo struck out.

Both clubs had earlier chances.

The Mariners got a one-out hustle double by Jones in the third inning on a grounder up the middle that squirted through Descalso, but Bettis retired Seager on a routine fly to left and struck out Cruz.

Corey Dickerson then opened the Colorado fourth with a double to center. Iwakuma held the runner on Nolan Arenado’s hopper to the mound before issuing an intentional walk to Carlos Gonzalez.

Iwakuma struck out LeMahieu and ended the threat by getting Morneau to ground out to short.

Rockies 4, Mariners 2

Coloradoab

r

h

bi

Seattleab

r

h

bi

Blckmn cf

5

0

2

0

J.Jones cf

3

0

2

0

CDckrs lf

4

0

2

0

OMally ph-cf

0

1

0

0

BBarns lf

1

0

0

0

KSeagr 3b

4

1

1

2

Arenad 3b

5

0

1

0

N.Cruz dh

4

0

0

0

CGnzlz rf

3

0

0

0

Cano 2b

3

0

0

0

LeMahi 2b

4

0

0

0

Trumo lf

3

0

0

0

Mornea dh

4

1

2

0

KMarte pr-ss

0

0

0

0

Paulsn 1b

4

1

1

0

S.Smith rf

4

0

0

0

Garnea c

4

1

1

3

Morrsn 1b

3

0

1

0

Descals ss

4

1

2

0

BMiller ss-lf

4

0

1

0

J.Hicks c

2

0

0

0

Gutirrz ph

1

0

0

0

Sucre c

0

0

0

0

SRomr ph

1

0

0

0

Totals38

4

11

3

Totals32

2

5

2

Colorado

000

000

301

4

Seattle

000

000

020

2

E—Arenado (15). DP—Colorado 1. LOB—Colorado 8, Seattle 9. 2B—C.Dickerson (10), J.Jones (1). HR—Garneau (2), K.Seager (24). SB—Blackmon (37).

Colorado

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Bettis W,7-5

7

3

0

0

3

6

Friedrich

0

1

2

2

1

0

J.Miller H,4

1/3

0

0

0

0

1

Logan H,23

1/3

0

0

0

0

0

Ja.Diaz H,6

1/3

0

0

0

1

1

Axford S,22-27

1

1

0

0

1

3

Seattle

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Iwakuma L,7-4

61/3

8

3

3

1

6

Farquhar

2/3

0

0

0

0

1

Beimel

1

1

0

0

0

0

Zych

1

2

1

1

0

2

Friedrich pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. WP—Zych. T—3:11. A—19,876 (47,574).

  Comments