Cruz breaks out of slump as Mariners knock off Rockies 10-8
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Nelson Cruz busted out of a slump with a double and RBI single to help the hot-hitting Seattle Mariners to a 10-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.
Cruz, who entered 3 for 29, collected both hits against struggling Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood. Seth Smith had two doubles and drove in three and Daniel Robertson tripled in a run for the Mariners, who have scored 22 runs in two games.
''The at-bats continue to be really good,'' Seattle manager Scott Servais said. ''The number of deep counts we get into and then guys finishing off at-bats. ... We've done a number of things this spring really well offensively.''
Seattle starter Taijuan Walker allowed four doubles and a single to his first eight batters as Colorado jumped on his fastball. Walker allowed six runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Carlos Gonzalez had two doubles and drove in three runs and rookie shortstop Trevor Story had two hits and made two fine defensive plays for the Rockies.
Nolan Arenado went 0 for 4 to snap a 14-game hitting streak.
Mariners: Walker, in line to start the home opener April 8 against Oakland, threw 80 pitches and had to mix it up.
''They were only swinging at the fastball,'' Walker said. ''I had to go to Plan B, which I hadn't done in a long time. Throwing a lot of curveballs just to get them off the fastball.''
Rockies: Chatwood got through three innings on 64 pitches, allowing four runs and seven hits. Only one run was earned thanks to Colorado's three-error second inning.
''I threw too many pitches (55) those first two innings,'' Chatwood said. ''Overall, I wasn't very sharp today.''
Rockies right-hander Jon Gray was both relieved and discouraged. Happy his strained abdominal muscle wasn't something worse. Disappointed he'll be sidelined for a couple weeks, making him unavailable for the start of the season.
''My arm has been great,'' Gray said, two days after he was removed from a start after throwing 16 pitches. ''That's what's really frustrating is my arm is feeling better than it has the last couple years. To have something like this happen . it's not fun not pitching.''
The Rockies are still confident the 24-year-old Gray will eventually become the anchor in the rotation they sought when making him the third overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft.
''I think he can be that prototypical power pitcher that you give the ball to every fifth day,'' manager Walt Weiss said.
Mariners: OF Franklin Gutierrez (flu) is expected back Friday.
Rockies: Weiss said RHP Chris Rusin's live batting practice Wednesday went ''very well'' and he'll pitch in a game in the next few days.
Servais confirmed RHP Hisashi Iwakuma will start the second game of the season April 5 at Texas, with LHP Wake Miley likely the next day.
Two Mariners were thrown out on the bases without sliding. Chatwood picked off Cruz at second, and Rockies catcher Dustin Garneau caught Smith slow getting back to third after he was held on a single.
Mariners: Ace Felix Hernandez starts Friday against the Chicago White Sox.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa is to throw up to 90 pitches in Friday's start against Cincinnati.