SALT LAKE CITY -- Matt Belisle is prone to a bad outing every so often, as we know, which can happen to a guy who has been used so much in recent years that it's a surprise his arm is still firmly attached to his body.
Belisle had another one of those games on Saturday, allowing two runs to score in the top of the eighth inning in a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners in front of a sold-out crowd at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
After Rex Brothers struck out Endy Chavez and walked Jason Bay to start the eighth, Belisle came on and allowed a rocket off the bat of Mike Zunino that went for a single. Bay advanced to third on the play, and scored on Raul Ibanez's sacrifice fly in the next at-bat.
Brad Miller followed with a fly ball to left field that was misplayed by Francisco Sosa, though it was ruled a double, allowing Zunino to score, giving the Mariners a two-run cushion. Colorado answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning on Jordan Ribera's bloop single, which scored David Kandilas. Jonathan Herrera followed, and flared a ball into right field that was snared in a sliding attempt by Ibanez to end the Rockies' rally.
Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton homered in the fourth inning off of Mariners starter Brandon Maurer, giving the Rockies a 2-1 lead at the time. Helton also lined a double off of the left-center field wall as part of his 2-for-2 day. He finished the spring training slate with a .448 batting average and three home runs, and drew rave reviews from coaches and scouts alike for his bat speed and overall approach at the plate.
Jeff Francis allowed solo home runs to Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak, but was otherwise effective in six innings, allowing just two runs on five hits through 104 pitches and earning the praise of Walt Weiss for minimizing damage.
The Rockies will immediately catch a flight from Salt Lake City to Milwaukee and begin the season on Monday at Miller Park. Jhoulys Chacin will be on the hill for the Rockies, who will field a lineup similar to today's with the exception of Reid Brignac, who will likely sit in favor of Chris Nelson. Nelson missed today's game with an illness but should be ready to go on Monday, per Weiss.