Colorado Rockies Win Unlikely Pitcher’s Duel Over Seattle Mariners Behind Kyle Kendrick
Jun 28, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher K. Kendrick (38) pitches during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners met for the final time in their interleague three-game series on Sunday afternoon in downtown Seattle’s Safeco Field.
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Kyle Kendrick threw well enough over five innings, left with the lead, and got four scoreless innings from the Colorado Rockies’ bullpen to preserve a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.
Kyle Kendrick, born and raised in Washington state, was making a homecoming of sorts on Sunday afternoon when he faced the Mariners — and pitched in his home state — for the very first time in his professional career, and at least early in the game, Kendrick didn’t waste that opportunity.
He faced one more batter than the minimum over his first three innings on Sunday, matching Mariners’ starter James Paxton in what early on was something of an unlikely pitcher’s duel.
Paxton, who was making his first start since May after being on the disabled list for more than three months, looked good for three innings, but was limited due to a pitch count and got into some trouble in the fourth inning.
He gave up the first run of the game in the top of the third inning when Nolan Arenado hit a sacrifice fly, and then in the fourth inning Paxton allowed a ground rule double to Wilin Rosario and a walk to Justin Morneau before he was pulled from the game.
Cristhian Adames followed that up with an infield base hit bunt to load the bases with no outs, and then Dustin Garneau hit a slow chopper in the infield. Kyle Seager tried to come to the plate with the throw, but he threw it away, and two runs scored on the fielder’s choice error. Brandon Barnes then followed up with his own infield chopper, but Garneau ran Adames off third base, and Cristhian was thrown out between third and home after getting caught in a rundown.
Next, the Mariners walked Charlie Blackmon intentionally to load the bases with just one out in order to face DJ LeMahieu. Unfortunately, though, LeMahieu lined into a double play, and the Colorado Rockies would have to settle for a 3-0 lead after three and a half innings.
Kendrick got into a two-out jam in the bottom of the fourth, after allowing a hit and then back-to-back walks to load the bases with former Colorado Rockies’ outfielder Seth Smith due to the plate. On a 2-1 pitch from Kendrick, Smith smashed a 2-RBI single to center field that made cut the lead to just 3-2 in the Rockies’ favor.
Kendrick would get out of the fourth with no further damage done, though, and work a perfect fifth inning to send the game into the sixth with the Rockies still clinging to their 3-2 lead. He would be done after that, becoming the pitcher of record in those five innings while allowing the two runs on three hits and two walks, with four strikeouts.
Scott Oberg threw the bottom of the sixth for the Colorado Rockies, and recorded a strikeout and a double play groundout, to preserve the one-run lead in his 54th appearance of the season for Colorado.
The good bullpen work continued in the seventh inning, when Justin Miller threw a scoreless inning. He didn’t strike out every batter he faced, as he had done in each of his previous three appearances, but he did work around a walk and preserve the 3-2 lead as the game went into the eighth inning.
A scoreless eighth inning by Jairo Diaz, and a clean ninth from John Axford gave the Colorado Rockies their 60th win of the season, and a series win in Seattle.
Next up, the Colorado Rockies head to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for three games on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights before coming home next weekend.