Colorado Rockies Show Life Late, But Eddie Butler Ripped By Seattle Mariners In Loss


Aug 3, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Eddie Butler (31) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies kicked off another interleague series on Monday night at Coors Field against the visiting Seattle Mariners. 

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The Seattle Mariners scored seven runs in the first three innings of the game off Colorado Rockies’ starter Eddie Butler, but the Rox, overcoming a strong showing against M’s ace Felix Hernandez with a furious three-run ninth inning rally to nearly win a walk-off, couldn’t get all the way back, losing 8-7 on Monday night at Coors Field.

The Mariners jumped all over Colorado Rockies’ starter Eddie Butler early on, scoring four runs in the first inning, two in the second, and another in the third against the struggling young hurler.

The first inning’s four-sport was highlighted by a Robinson Cano RBI single, followed up with a Jesus Montero RBI double and a Brad Miller single, all products of Butler failing to command pitches and not getting enough of a velocity difference as he needed between his fastball and offspeed pitches.

The Rockies at least got one back against Mariners’ starter Felix Hernandez in the bottom of the first inning, when Charlie Blackmon led off the Rockies’ at-bat with a double, and was then promptly singled home by Jose Reyes. But the 4-1 deficit would soon get worse, as Butler went back out for the second inning.

In the second inning, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz hit back to back home runs off Butler. It was the 30th for Cruz (16th for Seager), and the M’s took a 6-1 lead and their ace hurler into the bottom of the second feeling pretty good about jumping so far into the lead so early at Coors Field.

In the top of the third inning, the Mariners added yet another run against Butler on yet another home run, when Brad Miller hit a solo shot on a slider he took to the opposite field bleachers in left to make the game 7-1.

Butler would end up throwing one more inning — and it’d be his only scoreless inning and only 1-2-3 affair of the day — before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fourth inning.

All total, Butler allowed seven runs in four frames on seven hits and a walk, striking out two and offering up three homers and two doubles on 67 pitches (39 strikes). He is now 3-8 with the loss, and has an ERA of 5.45.

The Rockies, to their credit, didn’t back away from Hernandez, though. They put up two more runs off King Felix in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Drew Stubbs and Jose Reyes hit back-to-back RBI singles to make the game 7-3.

The Rockies would get closer still in the bottom of the sixth inning with another run thanks to an RBI double from Blackmon, and they ended up scoring 4 runs in total off Hernandez in his 6.2 innings of work.

During that time, Christian Bergman was throwing scoreless innings in long relief, though he eventually faltered and allowed one run at the end of his 2.2 innings (on an inherited runner scored against Gonzalez Germen relieving Bergman in the top of the seventh) to give the Mariners an 8-4 lead by the seventh inning stretch.

That lead would hold until the ninth inning, after Reyes couldn’t bring home two men aboard in the bottom of the eighth for the Rockies, striking out and wasting a potential scoring opportunity that could have tightened the game.

In the ninth, Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez led off the frame with back-to-back singles, prompting Mariners’ manager Lloyd McClendon to go get their closer, Carson Smith. Smith struck out LeMahieu, but Ben Paulsen hit a double off the left-field wall to score both Arenado and CarGo, making it an 8-6 game and bringing the tying run to the plate.

Nick Hundley then singled, scoring Paulsen to make the game 8-7. Kyle Parker followed up with his own bloop single, sending Brandon Barnes — who pinch ran for Hundley — to third base and bringing up pinch-hitter Michael McKenry with a chance to tie or win the game.

McKenry struck out, but the Rockies still had one chance — Blackmon — with runners on the corners down by one run. Unfortunately, Blackmon flew out to center field to end the game, ending the three-run rally just a little bit short for the night.

The Rockies pounded out 18 hits total in a game where the Mariners’ ace — and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball — started.

Blackmon went 4-for-6 with a run and an RBI — and is now hitting .299 on the season — pacing the way for the Rockies. Reyes was 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs, Paulsen was 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs, and Nick Hundley was 3-for-5 with two runs, an RBI, and a stolen base.

The Rockies and Mariners continue their series on Tuesday night in Denver with a 6:40 pm MT game; it will be Jon Gray‘s big league debut for the Rockies, going up against Vidal Nuno for Seattle.

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