THE FACTS: Once Mariners ace Felix Hernandez departed after two scoreless innings, everything devolved into a spit show. Colorado designated hitter Wilin Rosario did much of the damage with a pair of homers.
Rosario’s first blast was a two-run slicing drive against Roenis Elias that erased the Mariners’ 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. The other one was a three-run shot against Dominic Leone that highlighted a seven-run fifth.
PLAY OF THE GAME: It’s hard to single out just one depressing moment in the Colorado fifth, which included errors by second baseman Brad Miller and left fielder Julio Morban on routine plays and costly wild pitches by Leone and Mike Kickham.
PLUS: Dustin Ackley had three hits after going 1-for-7 in three previous games…James Jones stole his second base of the spring after reaching in the third inning on an error. He later scored on Ackley’s two-out single up the middle…Reliever Danny Farquhar bounced back from two subpar outings by pitching a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts.
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MINUS: Besides that Colorado fifth? Well, third baseman D.J. Peterson had some rough defensive moments. He and Ackley miscommunicated on Carlos Gonzalez’s soft pop in the third. The ball fell for a single, but Peterson threw out Gonzalez at second. Peterson and catcher Jesus Sucre later combined to allow a foul pop to drop near the third-base dugout. No error was called on either play.
JOB BATTLES: Start with the shortstop candidates. Miller committed his second error in four games, but he keeps swinging it. He was 2-for-3 and is now 6-for-9 overall. Chris Taylor was hitless in three at-bats, although he drove in a run with a grounder…Elias squandered a 2-0 lead in fourth by giving up a two-out double to Justin Morneau and Rosarios’s first homer. Elias, who is battling Taijuan Walker for a rotation job, also worked just two innings instead of a planned three…Leone is no lock for the bullpen despite a fine rookie season. Giving up seven runs (five earned) in one-third of an inning won’t help…Rafael Perez posted a scoreless eighth inning in his bid for a lefty bullpen job.
QUOTABLE: “The whole game was tough other than the first two innings,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “That’s spring training. That’s why we’re here to work on it and to get ready. There are going to be bumps in the road down here.”
EXTRA INNINGS: It was 81 degrees when Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick delivered the game’s first pitch…The Mariners were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position…The Mariners are 4-4.
UP NEXT: The Mariners and Rockies play again at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday at Peoria Stadium. Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez will start, while Danny Hultzen and Tom Wilhelmsen are scheduled to make their spring debuts.
The Rockies list right-hander Christian Bergman as their starter.