The Rockies had a chance to walk-off again on Tuesday night, but the clutch hit didn’t come this time.
C.J. Cron hit a monster two-run homer and Connor Joe added a two-run shot of his own – recording the first homer of his MLB career — but it wasn’t enough to overcome a below-average performance by Germán Márquez and another problematic outing from Tyler Kinley.
Joe! Joe! Joe!
After being pulled out of the Triple-A Isotopes’ game on Monday night, Joe was officially named to the Rockies roster on Tuesday. He wasted no time making an impact. In his second at-bat, which happened to come in the fifth inning, Joe blasted a shot 441 feet to deep center. The homer came in his 35th MLB game and 71st at-bat. Joe has eight homers for the Isotopes this season and a total of 51 homers in a minor-league career that dates back to 2015. But the homer on Tuesday meant a whole lot more, which you can see in the huge smile on Joe’s face.
In the top of the sixth, Joe made a great play in left field. He made a good line on a single by Mitch Haniger, cutting it off before it hit the wall and gunned it in quickly to catch Haniger sliding into second. The assist was the Rockies 20th outfield assist of the season, which is tied for the best in the majors. In the seventh, Joe added another hit – a double down the third-base line.
Just to make things even better, Joe achieved all of this on the one-year anniversary of being declared cancer-free after his 2019 battle with testicular cancer. With a night like Tuesday, Joe’s certainly earned a longer stay on the roster.
Márquez decent, but not sharp
Márquez had a decent night, but it wasn’t the usual dominance we have been accustomed to seeing. He still held the Mariners scoreless through five innings, but after a 1-2-3 first inning, he allowed runners in every other inning, either by walk or hit, except the fifth. But it was the sixth that contained all the damage. Three consecutive hits, including doubles by Kyle Seager and Cal Raleigh, tied the game up at 2-2. Márquez was able to record two outs, but then Dylan Moore connected for a two-run homer to put Seattle up 4-2. Márquez finished the inning, but it ended his night with a line of four runs on seven hits with two walks and one strikeout in six innings. The four runs were one more than the number of runs Márquez had surrendered in his last five starts (36 innings).
Tyler Kinley, who has a 9.00 ERA in his last seven appearances, gave up two runs on three hits when he took over for Márquez in the seventh inning as the Mariners took a 6-2 lead. The Rockies started to chip away at that in the eighth when Charlie Blackmon led off with a triple. C.J. Cron followed by absolutely annihilating an 82-mph slider from Paul Sewald that went 110.6 mph the other way, landing 465 feet later.
It was Cron’s 14th homer of the year and the third triple for Blackmon, who has also now stolen two bases in the last two games for a total of two on the season. The vets helped the Rockies cut the Mariners lead to 6-4.
Even though Kinley struggled, Ben Bowden, Lucas Gilbreath, and Carlos Estévez all held the Mariners scoreless with Gilbreath and Estévez each recording two strikeouts.
The Rockies made things interesting in the ninth when pinch hitter Raimel Tapia led off with a walk, but Garrett Hampson struck out, Joe grounded out, and Story struck out – for the third time in the game – to end it.
The Rockies went 2-for-9 with runners in scorlng position and stranded eight baserunners. They also erased some of their own runners when Hampson was thrown out trying to steal second in the second inning and Ryan McMahon tried to go from first to third on a single by Elias Díaz in the sixth inning.
Austin Gomber (6-5, 3.68 ERA) returns from the 10-day IL, where he was placed on June 20 with left forearm tightness, to make the start for the Rockies on Wednesday as they conclude their two-game home series and four-game season series with the Mariners. Chris Flexen (9-3, 3.35 ERA) will get the start for Seattle. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. MT.