The Jon Gray era is here. The result for the Colorado Rockies was a familiar one, as they dropped yet another interleague game. The 9-4 loss at the hands of the Seattle Mariners dropped them to 2-14 in interleague play and 44-61 overall on the year, but the real story of course was Jon Gray's Major League debut.
Gray's first inning was a bit uneven. He allowed two runs on two hits and a walk while throwing 33 pitches, just 16 for strikes. On the bright side, Gray's misses weren't big misses and his stuff looked impressive. In the bottom of the first, Charlie Blackmon got the Rockies on the board with a leadoff home run, his 13th of the season.
After two strong innings from Gray that saw him strike out two more and allow just one hit (that really should'e been ruled an error), the Mariners scored an unearned run thanks to a two-base error on Jose Reyes and an RBI single from opposing pitcher Vidal Nuno. The error was tough luck for Gray, but he's got to bear down and take care of the pitcher after something like that happens. That would end the day for Gray who would allow three runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts while throwing 43 of his 77 pitches for strikes. It certainly wasn't the perfect debut for Gray, but there were a lot more encouraging things from him than things that worried me.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Rockies answered back. After a one out single from DJ LeMahieu, Nick Hundley tied up the game at 3-3 with a 2-run shot, his ninth home run of the season.
Christian Friedrich was next to take the hill for the Rockies and after working a clean fifth inning, Friedrich allowed two more runs, only one of which was earned, on Franklin Gutierrez's 2-run pinch-hit single. In the bottom of the inning, the Rockies would once again battle back. Free Kyle Parker led off the inning with his first Major League home run to cut the deficit to 5-4, but they were unable to get the equalizer despite singles from Hundley and pinch-hitter Ben Paulsen.
The back-and-forth continued in the seventh as the Mariners' Nelson Cruz led off with a home run -- his fifth consecutive game with a home run and his 31st home run of the season -- against new reliever Scott Oberg. His ERA rose to 6.09 on the season as he continues to be susceptible to the long ball.
The eighth inning saw the Mariners tacked on three more with Austin Jackson's RBI single off Rafael Betancourt and Robinson Cano's 2-run single on an 0-2 pitch from Boone Logan to take a 9-4 lead to the bottom of the 8th. Seth Smith would double home a run in the 9th against Justin Miller to wrap up the scoring.
The Rockies will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 pm mountain time as Chris Rusin takes the ball against Taijuan Walker of the Mariners.
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