The Colorado Rockies took the series opener at Safeco Field, 4-2, in Seattle thanks to a three-run home run from catcher Dustin Garneau, the second of the rookie's big league career. The homer broke a scoreless deadlock in the seventh inning.
The first six innings of the game were a tightly-contested pitchers' duel between starters Chad Bettis and Hisashi Iwakuma, with each hurler allowing no runs on just three hits in his first six innings of work.
Colorado finally got to Iwakuma with one out in the seventh, starting things with back-to-back singles from Justin Morneau and Ben Paulsen before Garneau sent the first pitch he saw off the top of the scoreboard between the first and second decks in left field, giving the Rockies a 3-0 lead.
Daniel Descalso and Charlie Blackmon followed Garneau's homer with another pair of singles, but were stranded, meaning the Rockies would take the 3-0 lead to the bottom of the seventh.
Bettis pitched the bottom of the seventh, finishing his night's work. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out six. He threw 98 pitches, 56 for strikes.
The Mariners fought back in the bottom of the eighth against Rockies reliever Christian Friedrich, who walked pinch hitter Shawn O'Malley to start the inning before serving up a two-run home run to Kyle Seager, cutting the Rockies lead to 3-2. Walt Weiss then used three different relievers to shut down the inning, including Justin Miller striking out his eighth consecutive hitter over three games, extending his Rockies record and setting the longest mark in baseball for a reliever since 2012, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Rockies grabbed an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Descalso singled, advanced to third on a Blackmon single and scored on a wild pitch by Mariners reliever Tony Zych.
Closer John Axford closed things down with a clean bottom of the ninth, despite a pair of baserunners, earning his 22nd save of the season.
The Rockies will look to take the series tomorrow night in Seattle when Yohan Flande takes on Roenis Elias, first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Mountain time.
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