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Mariners ready to rep at All-Star Game

Seattle represented by a young wave of players in D.C.
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

For the last few years, there was a perception that the Mariners were an aging team with a closing window to make a postseason run behind the veteran core of Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager.

For the last few years, there was a perception that the Mariners were an aging team with a closing window to make a postseason run behind the veteran core of Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

But that storyline has been shattered by the new reality of this year's Mariners, a point driven home as players began gathering Monday in Washington, D.C., for Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. The game, held at Nationals Park, will be live on FOX at 4:30 p.m. PT.

The Mariners are represented at this year's All-Star festivities by a younger wave of players, led by 25-year-old reliever Edwin Diaz, who has emerged as one of the elite closers in the game with an MLB-leading 36 saves.

Video: Diaz on being with teammates at the All-Star game

Also in D.C. are right fielder Mitch Haniger, making his first All-Star appearance at age 27, and shortstop Jean Segura, a second-time All-Star now at 28.

The old guard is also still making its presence felt as Cruz earned his sixth All-Star berth as a 38-year-old designated hitter. But clearly the Mariners are moving away from relying so heavily on the veteran core. Despite a subpar first half from Hernandez and an 80-game suspension to Cano that still has another month to run, Seattle has the fourth-best record in the Majors at 58-39.

Cruz will be a free agent at year's end, but Haniger and Diaz are under team control for four more years through 2022 and Segura signed a contract extension last year that goes through 2022 with a team option for '23.

"We have something special going on," Haniger said. "If you look at the core, there's going to be a lot of guys sticking around the next couple years, and we're just looking to build off of it and improve every day."

Video: Haniger discusses All-Star Game, Segura and Mariners

Cruz has been part of four playoff teams with the Rangers and Orioles in the past and would love to help the Mariners get to the postseason for the first time since 2001.

"We have a really good core of guys that are playing good," Cruz said. "Not only that, but we understand the fans and whole organization want to go the playoffs and understand what we have in front of us. It's not going to be easy. We definitely needed the All-Star break the way we were playing the last few games. It couldn't have come at a better time."

Video: Nelson Cruz on the Mariners' push for the playoffs

After winning eight straight, the Mariners have lost eight of their last 11, so they'll be looking to regain their momentum after the four-day break. But with the fourth-best record in the Majors, they've been one of MLB's biggest surprises already.

"We will be OK," said Segura. "We have a talented team that's good in all areas, so nobody is worried. We have guys with velocity, good offense, good arms and Robinson Cano is coming back. I know there are other teams out there that are good, teams like Houston, but we are confident and nothing is impossible. I believe in our team."

Video: SEA@LAA: Segura flashes defensive brilliance at short

Much of the Mariners' magic has been a 26-12 record in one-run games, and Diaz's dominance has played a big part in that.

"He's our biggest weapon," Haniger said. "If we get the ball to him, we know the game is over. He's been great all year. That's our whole goal. Just get a lead and get Eddie on the mound."

The Mariners followed that formula extensively in the first half as Diaz's 48 relief appearances are tied for the most in the Majors. But due to team's recent struggles, he pitched just once in the last week and will be ready to roll when called on for his first All-Star appearance.

"I'm so happy to be here and have this opportunity to be here with all of these players," Diaz said. "It's been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to be an All-Star, and now it has come true."

Haniger was also taking it all in during Monday's media day and looking forward to talking hitting with the likes of Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.

"It's awesome," he said. "A little surreal, and just trying to soak it all in. This whole week I've been answering questions and didn't really know how it was going to be until I got here. It's pretty cool."

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX on Tuesday, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz, Edwin Diaz, Mitch Haniger, Jean Segura

Festa optioned to Double-A after debut

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Rookie reliever Matt Festa, who made his Major League debut for the Mariners on Saturday, has been optioned back to Double-A Arkansas so he can continue pitching as Seattle began the four-day All-Star break on Monday.

A corresponding roster move to add another player will be made before the club resumes play Friday against the White Sox at 7:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field.

SEATTLE -- Rookie reliever Matt Festa, who made his Major League debut for the Mariners on Saturday, has been optioned back to Double-A Arkansas so he can continue pitching as Seattle began the four-day All-Star break on Monday.

A corresponding roster move to add another player will be made before the club resumes play Friday against the White Sox at 7:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field.

The 25-year-old right-hander gave up two hits while getting two outs in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Rockies, allowing an inherited runner to score from third after replacing starter Wade LeBlanc with one out in the fifth inning.

Festa, the Mariners' No. 9 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has gone 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 13 saves in 28 outings for Arkansas, with 44 strikeouts and seven walks in 31 2/3 innings.

The Mariners went with 10 relievers over the weekend in Colorado, adding Festa and veteran Mike Morin to the bullpen while placing starters Felix Hernandez and James Paxton on the 10-day disabled list with lower back issues.

Both Hernandez and Paxton are expected to rejoin the rotation following the break, with Hernandez tentatively slated to throw Saturday against the White Sox and Paxton returning next Tuesday to face the Giants.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Matt Festa

Lewis walks, scores run in Futures Game

MLB.com @DKramer_

The 20th edition of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game had no shortage of big moments, with the two sides combining for eight home runs -- doubling the previous Futures Game record -- as Team USA outslugged the World, 10-6, on All-Star Sunday at Nationals Park.

The 20th edition of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game had no shortage of big moments, with the two sides combining for eight home runs -- doubling the previous Futures Game record -- as Team USA outslugged the World, 10-6, on All-Star Sunday at Nationals Park.

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

Below is a recap of each player's performance, with a breakdown of each club's representatives.

ANGELS
Jo Adell, OF, LAA No. 1 | MLB No. 36
Adell went 1-for-4, but it wasn't for a lack of contact, which has been a concern early in his career. Adell grounded out to Fernando Tatis Jr. in the first, then popped out twice and hit a sac fly.

Box score

ASTROS
Yordan Alvarez, OF/1B, HOU No. 3 | MLB No. 51
Playing in his second straight Futures Game, Alvarez went 1-for-3 with a walk, and he drew widespread attention, both on the field and in the social realms, for his 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame.

ATHLETICS
Jesus Luzardo, LHP, OAK No. 1 | MLB No. 20
Luzardo started for the World Team and pitched the first two innings, giving up three hits and an earned run in the first inning. Luzardo reached 97 mph on his four-seamer, while showing movement on many of his secondary pitches, particularly the two-seamer and slider. As he has over parts of his young career, Luzardo struggled with command. But scouting reports suggest that once Luzardo finds control, he possesses top-of-the-rotation stuff.

Video: WLD@USA: Luzardo strikes out Hiura, Jansen in the 2nd

BLUE JAYS
Bo Bichette, SS/2B, TOR No. 2 | MLB No. 7
Toronto's incredibly talented hitter finished 1-for-3 with a 102.2-mph ground-ball single off Bryan Mata in the third inning. He also got a bit of a surprise in the first inning, when Luzardo quick-pitched him into a flyout.

Danny Jansen, C, TOR No. 6
Jansen sparked a USA rally in the fourth by launching a changeup up and out for a 381-foot game-tying home run to left, which was quickly followed up by Ke'Bryan Hayes' tater to left-center. Toronto's top catching prospect finished 1-for-2 with two runs driven in.

Video: WLD@USA: Jansen clubs a two-run homer to left field

BRAVES
Kyle Wright, RHP, ATL No. 2 | MLB No. 25
Inheriting runners at first and third and no outs in the top of the eighth, Wright induced a flyout from Miguel Amaya and a double play from Andres Gimenez to escape the jam.

Touki Toussaint, RHP, ATL No. 10
A day after being promoted to the World Team roster as a late addition, Toussaint twirled the eighth inning, giving up a triple to Taylor Trammel -- which many, including Trammel, thought was headed to the bleachers before pegging into the center-field wall. Toussaint, who was recently promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett and led the Southern League (Double-A) in strikeouts at the time of his promotion, sat in the high-90s with his two-seamer, dropped 10 mph on his changeup and dropped another 10 mph on his curveball, which he threw just once.

BREWERS
Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL No. 1 | MLB No. 30
Hiura's hitting ability has helped his name come up often with the non-waiver Trade Deadline looming, but he struck out in each of his two plate appearances Sunday.

Luis Ortiz, RHP, MIL No. 4
Ortiz was the last player on either roster to enter the game, doing so with two outs in the top of the ninth against Yusniel Diaz, who had homered twice already. Ortiz threw one pitch, a 95.4-mph four-seamer, that induced a groundout to end the game.

Video: WLD@USA: Ortiz gets Diaz to ground out to end 9th

CARDINALS
Dakota Hudson, RHP, STL No. 3

Hudson made the most of his 11 pitches over a perfect sixth inning. His fastball never dropped below 96 mph, and his slider fooled Keibert Ruiz for a strikeout. That specific combination is why there might be a spot for him in the Cardinals' bullpen at some point.

Andrew Knizner, C, STL No. 5
Days after he was added to the Team USA roster as as an injury replacement for A's catcher Sean Murphy, Knizner entered in the sixth to catch for fellow Cards prospect Hudson. The 23-year-old Knizner, who is hitting .310/.376/.418 between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts.

Randy Arozarena, OF, STL. No. 7
Arozarena entered in the bottom of the seventh and got just one at-bat. He reached on a fielding error by USA first baseman and Mets prospect Peter Alonso.

CUBS
Miguel Amaya, C/1B, CHC No. 10
Amaya went 0-for-2 at the plate after starting at catcher for the World Team.

D-BACKS
Yoan Lopez, RHP, ARI No. 25
Lopez faced just one batter -- entering with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and the game tied at 5 -- striking out Ryan Mountcastle on three fastballs clocked at 96.4, 96.0 and 97.2 mph.

Video: WLD@USA: Lopez gets Mountcastle swinging in the 5th

DODGERS
Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD No. 2 | MLB No. 44
Ruiz, whose name has been linked to Manny Machado trade rumors, left the game after getting clocked on his right hand by a foul ball. X-rays were negative, according to the Los Angeles Times. At the dish, Ruiz struck out in his lone at-bat during the sixth inning.

Yusniel Diaz, OF, LAD No. 4 | MLB No. 85
Diaz entered the game with just six homers over the entire season with Double-A Tulsa. He added another pair on Sunday -- a 409-foot blast in the fifth and a 408-foot shot in the seventh. Diaz became just the second player to homer twice in Futures Game history and was one of just five players to remain in the game from start to finish.

Video: WLD@USA: Diaz clobbers 2-run jack, game-tying HR

GIANTS
Shaun Anderson, RHP, SF No. 7
Anderson gave up a solo home run to Diaz in the seventh, but wound up being the winning pitcher after Team USA powered to a lead it wouldn't relinquish in the following frame. Anderson, who will be promoted to Triple-A Sacramento to start the second half, also gave up a hit to fellow Giants prospect Heliot Ramos just after surrendering the homer.

Heliot Ramos, OF, SF No. 1 | MLB No. 70
Ramos laced a single off fellow Giants prospect Anderson in the seventh in his lone at-bat. He didn't see any action in the field since he entered the game as the designated hitter.

INDIANS
Kieran Lovegrove, RHP
Lovegrove entered Sunday having faced 100 hitters this year without giving up a homer. That ended when Trammel -- the first batter Lovegrove faced -- launched a 438-foot laser to straightaway center. Over his brief appearance in the sixth inning, Lovegrove faced one more batter, recorded an out, then was pulled.

MARINERS
Kyle Lewis, OF, SEA No. 1 | MLB No. 58
Lewis went 0-for-1 with a flyout to right in his first at-bat, a walk and a run scored, courtesy of Hayes' deep fly to left in the fourth frame, and he didn't see any action in the field.

MARLINS
Jorge Guzman, RHP, MIA No. 3
Guzman, who many will identify as a key return in the Giancarlo Stanton trade, flashed his raw stuff to the three batters he faced, throwing 10 pitches -- all between 96.8 and 99.7 mph -- with one strikeout.

Tweet from @Marlins: Hitters have 99 problems and they're all miles per hour.Jorge Guzman was all 🔥 at the Futures Game. #JustGettinStarted pic.twitter.com/tw6iYWWnSm

METS
Andres Gimenez, SS, NYM No. 1 | MLB No. 68
Gimenez went 0-for-2 with a pair of groundouts, including an inning-ending double play in the eighth with runners on first and third.

Tweet from @JesseSanchezMLB: No big deal. It���s just a Hall of Famer sharing hitting tips with a young prospect. This might be the biggest moment of Andres Gimenez���s pro career. #FuturesGame. #Mets pic.twitter.com/ShXlU7IUTW

Peter Alonso, 1B, NYM No. 2 | MLB No. 69
Eager to join in the power party, Alonso gave Mets fans a glimpse of what could be to come when he launched a 415-foot homer to left. The deep fly was scorched at 113.6 mph and lifted at a 46-degree launch angle, according to Statcast™. Yoenis Cespedes is the only Mets player to hit a homer with a higher exit velocity this year.

Video: WLD@USA: Alonso's 415-foot home run down the line

NATIONALS
Carter Kieboom, SS, WSH No. 2 | MLB No. 62
Kieboom didn't quite have the homecoming he was hoping for, going 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts, including one looking on a 78.6-mph curveball from Toussaint.

Luis Garcia, SS/2B, WSH No. 5
Garcia drew a walk in his lone plate appearance during the eighth inning, while also contributing three-plus innings at second base.

ORIOLES
Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, BAL No. 1 | MLB No. 80
Mountcastle, who could be a huge part of the post-Machado Orioles, went 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Lopez and a flyout against Guzman.

Alex Wells, LHP BAL No. 8
Wells faced only Buddy Reed and Knizner and got each out quickly, throwing just nine pitches. Reed nearly took Wells deep, flying out to the left-field wall, but Wells quickly bounced back to strike out Knizner on three called strikes in a row.

PADRES
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, SD No. 1 | MLB No. 3
Tatis laced a 102.3-mph heater from Hunter Greene for a 107.1-mph single to right, then swiped second during the next at-bat, putting his plus speed on display with a Sprint Speed of 28.4 feet per second, per Statcast™, well above the Major League average of 27.0.

Video: WLD@USA: Tatis Jr. rips a single off a 102-mph heater

Luis Urias, 2B/SS, SD No. 3 | MLB No. 29
Urias had an unfortunate run-in with a 100.4-mph fastball on his left elbow, though he was wearing a protective guard. Urias struck out in his other two plate appearances, and was pulled in the bottom of the fifth.

Buddy Reed, OF
Reed, who just this week was called up to Double-A San Antonio after clubbing 12 homers from Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, narrowly missed a deep fly in the sixth, having lifted one 346 feet to the wall in left in a full count against Wells. However, Reed made up for it in the field in the following frame, robbing Tatis of what would've been his third hit with a running grab in right-center.

Video: WLD@USA: Reed on his mom, playing hockey

PHILLIES
Adonis Medina, RHP, PHI No. 2 | MLB No. 74
Medina's wild pitch in the seventh inning broke a 6-6 tie and gave Team USA a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The right-hander lost control of a two-seamer that landed in the dirt and allowed Adell to score from third. He also gave up a mammoth blast to Alonso, getting tagged for three runs in a third of an inning, but he did show glimpses of his nasty stuff on his two strikeouts.

Video: WLD@USA: Medina K's Kieboom swinging in the 7th

PIRATES
Mitch Keller, RHP, PIT No. 1 | MLB No. 12
Keller tossed a perfect first inning on eight pitches, striking out Luis Alexander Basabe to lead off the game, then inducing a pair of flyouts. Keller topped out on his four-seam fastball at 99.5 mph.

Video: WLD@USA: Keller K's Basabe, retires the side in order

Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT No. 3
Hayes, son of 14-year MLB veteran Charlie Hayes, launched a 405-foot homer deep to the left-field bleachers to complete back-to-back deep flies with Jansen, putting Team USA up by two in the fourth. Team USA manager Torii Hunter, being interviewed at the time of Hayes' homer was ecstatic.

Video: WLD@USA: Hunter cheers on Team USA at Futures Game

RANGERS
C.D. Pelham, LHP, TEX No. 19
Pelham walked the first batter he faced, narrowly missing ball four on an inside fastball at 97.9 mph, then got into more trouble when Arozarena reached on an error by first baseman Alonso, putting runners on the corners. That'd be it for Pelham after that, though Wright helped bail him out of the jam.

Leody Taveras, OF, TEX No. 1 | MLB No. 28
Taveras went 0-for-2 with a popup and a groundout, and finished the game after entering as the World Team's center fielder in the bottom of the sixth.

RAYS
Nate Lowe, 1B
Lowe laced an RBI single off Luzardo with two outs in the first that scored Brendan Rodgers to put Team USA up, 1-0, in the opening frame.

Video: WLD@USA: Lowe opens the scoring with an RBI single

Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB No. 4 | MLB No. 35
Sanchez went 0-for-3, grounding into a pair of double plays and flying out to center off a slider from Justus Sheffield in the second inning. His stat sheet won't show it, but Sanchez impressed with a fluid swing from the left side.

RED SOX
Bryan Mata, RHP, BOS No. 4
The 19-year-old, as he has much of this season, had to battle traffic and command, but he left after tossing a scoreless third inning. Mata sat at an impressive 95 mph on his two-seam fastball, and complemented his heat with varying speeds in the high-70s on his curve, though he got just one swing-and-miss on 31 pitches.

REDS
Hunter Greene, RHP, CIN No. 2 | MLB No. 18
The Reds' flamethrower maxed out the radar gun, throwing all 19 of his fastballs above 100 mph and averaging 101.3 mph. Heat alone wasn't enough to keep Basabe from homering and Tatis from following up with a single -- both off 102.3-mph pitches -- but the ease with which Greene delivered his triple-digit velocity was mighty impressive nonetheless.

Video: WLD@USA: Greene talks playing in Futures Game

Taylor Trammell, OF, CIN No. 3 | MLB No. 34
With raw athleticism that stood out during a 38-touchdown season as a high school football star in 2015, Trammell got the chance to put his tools on display. And he didn't disappoint. Cincinnati's No. 35 overall pick in '16, Trammell launched a 107.9-mph homer that traveled a projected 438 feet -- the deepest of the eight homers hit in the game.

Trammell nearly got hold of another one -- and thought he did, given his reaction -- with a fly ball off the center-field wall in the eighth inning, gesturing to the USA dugout as he rounded first, only to settle for a triple. He was named the Futures Game MVP.

Video: WLD@USA: Trammell clubs HR, wins Futures Game MVP

ROCKIES
Brendan Rodgers, SS, COL No. 1 | MLB No. 6
Rodgers roped a Statcast-projected 108.7-mph double into the left-center-field gap with two outs and in a full count, then scored during the ensuing at-bat by Lowe to put Team USA on board first. Rodgers chased an outside curveball from Mata in his second at-bat during the third inning for a strikeout.

Jesus Tinoco, RHP, COL No. 12
Tinoco induced a groundout to Double-A Hartford teammate Rodgers as part of a three-up, three-down, nine-pitch outing after entering in the bottom of the fourth. He began the day by retiring Bichette with a flyout to right.

ROYALS
Seuly Matias, OF, KC No. 3
Matias got the World Team on the board with a 100.7-mph solo homer off Yankees lefty Sheffield, then followed up with a single in the fifth to round out a 2-for-3 day.

Video: WLD@USA: Matias puts the World on the board with a HR

TIGERS
Matt Manning, RHP, DET No. 2 | MLB No. 47
Manning gave up two earned runs on four hits, including a homer to Diaz, while working the fourth and fifth innings. His fastball averaged 94.1 mph, and he complemented it with good variance on his curveball, which hovered in the high-70s.

Video: WLD@USA: Manning strikes out Urias in the 5th inning

Dawel Lugo, 2B, DET No. 12
Acquired last summer as part of the J.D. Martinez deal, Detroit's talented infielder scored a run and went 1-for-2 with a single off Sheffield.

TWINS 
Alex Kirilloff, OF, MIN No. 3 | MLB No. 67
Minnesota's top outfield prospect lined two singles -- one to left field and the other to right-center -- as part of a 2-for-3 day with a run scored. His second single came off Lewis Thorpe, his fellow up-and-comer in the Twins system.

Lewis Thorpe, LHP, MIN No. 11
Thorpe struggled to keep the ball in the park during his fourth-inning stint, surrendering homers to Jansen and Hayes as part of three hits and a walk surrendered in just two-thirds of an inning.

Video: WLD@USA: Thorpe K's Hiura swinging in the 4th inning

WHITE SOX
Dylan Cease, RHP, CWS No. 4 | MLB No. 40
Entering in the top of the ninth, Cease induced a groundout from Leodys Taveras then got Tatis to fly out to right before paving way for Ortiz's victory-sealing groundout.

Video: WLD@USA: Basabe homers off 102-mph pitch from Greene

Luis Alexander Basabe, OF, CWS No. 13
One of the most impressive plays of the entire game came in the top of the third, when Basabe timed Greene's 102.3-mph fastball and muscled it out for a 404-foot home run.

Tweet from @darenw: Luis Alexander Basabe just turned on a 102.3 MPH fastball for a home run... Would be fastest pitch in @mlb hit for a HR since Rafael Devers took Chapman deep last season on a 102.8 MPH pitch.

Basabe also nabbed a runner at second base with an accurate first-inning throw from center field.

YANKEES
Justus Sheffield, LHP, NYY No. 2 | MLB No. 39
Sheffield gave up a second-inning homer to Matias that tied the game at 1. Sheffield was also credited for another earned run for allowing his final batter, Lugo, reach on a single. Lugo then scored on Basabe's homer off Greene.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. MLB.com's Matt Kelly contributed to this story.

Mariners 1st half ends with Rocky Mountain slide

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

DENVER -- A Mariners team that made a living on one-run wins in the first half saw that script flipped Sunday in a 4-3 loss to the Rockies and now heads to the All-Star break looking to regroup from a four-game losing streak.

Though the Mariners finished the first half with the fourth-best record in the Majors at 58-39, they were swept by the Rockies to wrap up a 1-5 road trip, and now will take four days off before resuming play Friday in Seattle.

View Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- A Mariners team that made a living on one-run wins in the first half saw that script flipped Sunday in a 4-3 loss to the Rockies and now heads to the All-Star break looking to regroup from a four-game losing streak.

Though the Mariners finished the first half with the fourth-best record in the Majors at 58-39, they were swept by the Rockies to wrap up a 1-5 road trip, and now will take four days off before resuming play Friday in Seattle.

View Full Game Coverage

Seattle is still an MLB-leading 26-12 in one-run games, but Colorado won this one on a walk-off home run by Trevor Story to lead off the bottom of the ninth against Nick Vincent. The Rockies roll into the break having won 13 of 16, including five of six against Seattle, to pull back into the National League West race at 51-45.

The Mariners remain five back of the Astros in the American League West, but are suddenly looking in the rear-view mirror at the A's, who have won 21 of their last 26 to pull three back of Seattle in the chase for the second AL Wild Card spot.

"I'm proud of the way the guys have competed in the first half. This is not going to be easy," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "When you're trying to put something behind you -- we haven't been in the playoffs in a long time -- there are going to be some challenges along the way. You find out what you're made of. I know what this club is made of, and I like our chances."

Dee Gordon gave Seattle a 3-2 lead in the seventh, slapping a single to left that scored Guillermo Heredia. But the Rockies immediately re-tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Ian Desmond ripped a shot down the first-base line off reliever Juan Nicasio that turned into a triple when right fielder Mitch Haniger slipped on the rain-soaked grass.

Video: SEA@COL: Gordon hits go-ahead RBI single in the 7th

"It was tough, but you've got to get through it," Haniger said of the wet conditions. "It's tough for both sides. Looking back on it, maybe I should have been a little more cautious, but you're trying to make plays. … Unfortunately, I slipped, and the guy gets an extra base."

Video: SEA@COL: Desmond safe at third with triple on review

Instead of what would have been a double, that set up the tying sacrifice fly to left by Chris Iannetta. It was that kind of road trip for the Mariners, who welcome the upcoming time off.

Video: SEA@COL: Iannetta ties the game on a sac fly in 7th

"We all need a break. We've played hard this first half and we've played well, too," said Gordon, who went 2-for-5 with a run and RBI. "Everybody needs a break. We're going to enjoy it, recharge our batteries and get ready for the second half."

Haniger -- one of four Mariners headed to Tuesday's All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. -- went 2-for-4 and drove in a run in Seattle's two-run first against Rockies starter Tyler Anderson, but that was the only damage mustered in six innings against the lefty.

Mike Leake matched Anderson in the rain-soaked duel, as he finished the first half at 8-6 with a 4.22 ERA after allowing six hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings. Both runs came in the third when Nolan Arenado hit an RBI single and Charlie Blackmon raced all the way from first to score the tying run when Haniger mishandled the ball in the wet grass in right field.

Video: SEA@COL: Rockies score 2 on error, Arenado's single

Leake said the wet conditions didn't hurt him, however. Instead, he welcomed the rain while pitching in notoriously tough conditions at Coors.

"It might have helped a little just to get some moisture in the air. Usually, it's pretty dry," said Leake. "Today was definitely more on point with my location than the last couple games."

Video: SEA@COL: Leake allows 1 earned run over 6 innings

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Story's walk-off homer settled matters as he drove a 2-2 cutter from Vincent over the fence in center, a 434-foot shot, per Statcast™. It was Story's first career walk-off hit.

Video: SEA@COL: Story hits walk-off homer to sweep Seattle

"The ball was up," Servais said. "Nick pitches up, it just didn't cut and get in a good spot. He left it in the middle of the plate. They're going really good right now. I remember back when we were going like that at one point. That's what teams do. You get the emotion and ride the wave. We can do that as well as anybody else. Unfortunately, we ran into a buzzsaw here in Colorado." 

HE SAID IT
"The break couldn't come at a better time for us. Unfortunately, we kind of limped into it. But I'm really proud of our club. We've had a really nice first half to the season and the guys continue to compete all the time. We had a good chance to win this today and get off on a little bit of a high note. But, we've put ourselves in position to be in a good spot down the stretch in the second half and get where we ultimately want to go, which is into the playoffs. This team certainly has the talent to do that." -- Servais

UP NEXT
After the four-day All-Star break, the Mariners will resume play Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT against the White Sox at Safeco Field. Wade LeBlanc (5-1, 3.63 ERA) is expected to be on the mound to kick off the second half, followed by Felix Hernandez on Saturday and Marco Gonzales on Sunday.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Servais excited by club's 'awesome first half'

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

DENVER -- The Mariners aren't rolling into the All-Star break at full steam, but for a club projected by most to be a .500 team coming out of Spring Training, it's hard to be upset with a 58-39 record, one which puts them in prime position to fight for a playoff berth in the second half.

"I think we've had an awesome first half of the season," manager Scott Servais said. "It's a credit to our players. We've certainly faced some adversity. Injuries, losing Robbie [Cano] and things like that; so to be in this position, I couldn't be any happier.

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DENVER -- The Mariners aren't rolling into the All-Star break at full steam, but for a club projected by most to be a .500 team coming out of Spring Training, it's hard to be upset with a 58-39 record, one which puts them in prime position to fight for a playoff berth in the second half.

"I think we've had an awesome first half of the season," manager Scott Servais said. "It's a credit to our players. We've certainly faced some adversity. Injuries, losing Robbie [Cano] and things like that; so to be in this position, I couldn't be any happier.

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"Now I say that and you're always a little disappointed because we're in a little bit of a swoon and haven't played that well recently. But you have to look at the big picture here. You have to stand back and say, 'When we left Peoria, what were we shooting for? What were we hoping for?'"

The Mariners have put themselves in the thick of a very strong American League West, where four of the five teams will hit the break with records over .500, paced by the defending World Series champion Astros.

Seattle has gone 20-16 against the AL West and will see all those teams frequently down the stretch, so that figures to play prominently in their postseason hopes. They have 13 more games against the Astros and nine against the suddenly surging A's.

The Mariners will get Cano back in mid-August, which figures to be a needed boost for the offense, and general manager Jerry Dipoto still has two weeks to make moves prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I think he'll be busy," Servais said. "He's going to be on the phone a lot, trying to figure out different things that might help our club. It's a busy time, no question, and an exciting time. I do know it's much more fun being on the buyer's side than the seller's side."

The Mariners have lost eight of their last 11 games going into the break, but in a 162-game season, every club goes through such downturns. The Mariners look forward to regrouping at the break and seeing where things turn in the final 10 weeks.

"At the end of the day, we've put ourselves in a tremendous position to have an awesome run at this thing to get into the playoffs," Servais said. "It's exactly what we talked about wanting to happen for our fan base and the vibe around Safeco. It's going to be there for the second half and it's going to be a lot of fun."

Worth noting

• Servais said Felix Hernandez, on the 10-day disabled list with a sore lower back, played catch Saturday without issue and is on target to rejoin the rotation on Saturday against the White Sox.

• Catcher Mike Zunino (bruised left foot) is also progressing well and likely to return from the DL coming out of the break.

Video: KC@SEA: Zunino hits hardest HR at Safeco since 2015

• Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who has been on the DL since early May with shoulder issues, threw again off the mound this weekend and is expected to begin a Minor League rehab assignment soon.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Short-handed Seattle silenced by Gray, Rockies

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DENVER -- Any doubts as to whether the Mariners are starting to miss Robinson Cano, not to mention Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino, continued to be erased Saturday as Seattle struggled again in a 4-1 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.

Right-hander Jon Gray quieted the Mariners on four hits and one run over 7 1/3 innings as Seattle lost for the seventh time in its past 10 games, including four of five against the red-hot Rockies.

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DENVER -- Any doubts as to whether the Mariners are starting to miss Robinson Cano, not to mention Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino, continued to be erased Saturday as Seattle struggled again in a 4-1 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.

Right-hander Jon Gray quieted the Mariners on four hits and one run over 7 1/3 innings as Seattle lost for the seventh time in its past 10 games, including four of five against the red-hot Rockies.

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Colorado has won 12 of its last 15 to climb to 50-45 in the National League West, just 2 1/2 games back of the front-running D-backs. Seattle slipped five games back of Houston in the American League West at 58-38 and is now just four games ahead of the A's for the second Wild Card spot, with one game remaining before the All-Star break.

With Cano still a month away from returning from his 80-game suspension, Zunino on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised ankle and Cruz sidelined by the lack of a designated hitter in the Interleague road games, the Mariners' offense continued a recent troubling trend.

"Certainly with Nelson Cruz, our big bat, out of the lineup, it's going to be challenging for us," manager Scott Servais said. "The other guys in the middle of the lineup have struggled here in this series and haven't put much together. Without Cruz in there, it's been a challenge."

Even with seven runs in a 10-7 loss in Friday's series opener at Coors, the Mariners have crossed home plate just 24 times in their last eight games. And with the pitching hitting a rough patch at the same time, that's been a tough combination.

Wade LeBlanc took his first loss of the season Saturday, allowing six hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings to fall to 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA.

"It's not very much fun throwing in a park like this, not for a guy that relies on late movement," said LeBlanc. "That kind of gets taken away with the thin air and you have balls that carry further than they would in a normal park. It's not a great place to pitch. If you don't have your A-plus game, you're probably going to have a long night here. It's frustrating to take this one into the All-Star break, but I'll flush it and move on."

The big blow for the Rockies was a two-run blast by Carlos Gonzalez that carried 455 feet to dead center, per Statcast™, on a 1-2 fastball that stayed in the middle of the plate. It was Gonzalez's fourth career homer against LeBlanc in 20 at-bats.

Video: SEA@COL: CarGo hammers a homer 455 feet

"It didn't move at all," LeBlanc said. "It moved a lot after he hit it, really quickly. It was a mistake. I made a lot of mistakes tonight. That was on the inner half, down, right where lefties like it. But he's had some success against me. I've struggled with execution against him in the past, and it showed up again tonight."

The veteran hurler wasn't alone there, as the Mariners misplayed two balls in the outfield, when an RBI triple by Ian Desmond in the fifth carried over Ben Gamel's head and Mitch Haniger couldn't glove a line-drive double by Nolan Arenado in the seventh.

Video: SEA@COL: Desmond drives an RBI triple to center field

"Ben hasn't been in center field much and Desmond hit that ball pretty well," Servais said. "The ball does carry here. And Hanny probably lost that ball in the lights. That's happened a couple times here on this road trip. All the little things add up. It's a challenging place to play, no doubt about it."

The Mariners also cost themselves a run with a baserunning miscue by Chris Herrmann, who got thrown out at home on an infield grounder to Arenado in the eighth. Herrmann accounted for Seattle's lone run with a double to plate Gamel.

Video: SEA@COL: Herrmann drives an RBI double to right field

"It's been a rough week or so," said Herrmann. "We just really haven't been able to connect all the pieces. We're not hitting in timely situations. It's just one of those things. It's baseball, it's a hard sport and there are going to be a lot of ups and downs."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Mariners made one push against Gray in the eighth when Gamel singled and Chris doubled him home to cut the deficit to 4-1 with one out. Cruz then ripped a hard infield single that Arenado couldn't quite glove cleanly, putting runners at the corners. But the Rockies summoned reliever Adam Ottavino and Herrmann helped him out by getting thrown out at home after hesitating and then bolting for the plate on a checked-swing grounder to Arenado. Jean Segura then struck out to end the uprising.

Video: SEA@COL: Ottavino K's Segura to strand 2 runners

"That was just a brain fart," said Herrmann. "I should have waited for Arenado to throw to first and see what happened from there. I hate making baserunning mistakes like that. Who knows? The game maybe could have changed a little, we could have maybe scored a run and had a guy on third and second with two outs." 

SOUND SMART
The setback snapped a remarkable run by the 33-year-old LeBlanc, who hadn't suffered a losing decision in his first 21 starts with Seattle, including a 2016 stint. That wound up one shy of the MLB record of 22 starts without a loss at the beginning of a pitcher's tenure with a team, set by Whitey Ford of the Yankees in 1953 and tied by Kirk Rueter of the Expos in 1994.

HE SAID IT
"I don't think anybody here was thinking we're going to go through the whole season without a couple rocky stretches, no pun intended. That's where we're at right now. But, we'll come out tomorrow. We have to do more offensively, no doubt. You have to score more runs in this ballpark." -- Servais

UP NEXT
Mike Leake (8-6, 4.36 ERA) closes out the first half for the Mariners in Sunday's 12:10 p.m. PT series finale against Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.76). Leake lasted just four innings in back-to-back losses to the Angels, but will look to get back on track against a team he shut out for seven innings on four hits last July while with the Cardinals. He's pitched just once at Coors Field, allowing eight hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 7-4 loss for Cincinnati in 2013.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners can't corral Rockies' bats at Coors

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

DENVER -- Having spent his first three seasons in the Majors with the Rockies, Christian Bergman is no stranger to Coors Field. But familiarity doesn't mean comfort when it comes to pitching in Coors, as the Mariners' spot starter was reminded again in a 10-7 loss in Friday's Interleague series opener.

Bergman, called up from Triple-A Tacoma to give Felix Hernandez's sore back a break, gave up six hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Mariners suffered their second straight blowout loss to fall four back of the Astros in the American League West at 58-37.

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DENVER -- Having spent his first three seasons in the Majors with the Rockies, Christian Bergman is no stranger to Coors Field. But familiarity doesn't mean comfort when it comes to pitching in Coors, as the Mariners' spot starter was reminded again in a 10-7 loss in Friday's Interleague series opener.

Bergman, called up from Triple-A Tacoma to give Felix Hernandez's sore back a break, gave up six hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Mariners suffered their second straight blowout loss to fall four back of the Astros in the American League West at 58-37.

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The Rockies' Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story both homered off Bergman changeups that stayed up in the zone, which is a bad formula at a park where the ball carries.

"It's difficult, you have less room for error," said Bergman, who is now 6-5 with a 6.89 ERA in 31 games at Coors Field, including eight starts. "I think a couple of my pitches got a little too much of the plate, a little elevated. And when you're able to get it up in the air like that, things like that happen."

Video: SEA@COL: Story belts a monstrous 2-run shot to center

Seattle's starting pitched helped the club get off to its hot first half, but the rotation is 3-6 with a 5.73 ERA over the past nine games and Hernandez and James Paxton have both hit the 10-day disabled list with back issues in the past week.

Bergman, who threw seven scoreless innings with two hits allowed in his previous spot start this season against Texas, couldn't stem the tide, and the bullpen didn't help much either as the Rockies racked up 14 hits and won for the eighth time in their past 10 games.

"Bergie was not as sharp tonight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "The changeup is a big pitch for him and a couple of them went out of the park. That's been his go-to pitch recently and it just didn't have any bottom to it and was just kind of sitting there. But that's a good hitting ballclub. You have to make pitches and play really good defense and it didn't happen for us tonight."

Sparked by a two-run triple by Denard Span, Seattle rallied with four runs in the seventh to narrow the deficit. But the Mariners have been outscored 21-9 in their last two games, including an 11-2 loss at Anaheim on Thursday, and face two more games at Coors this weekend before reaching the All-Star break.

Video: SEA@COL: Span drills a 2-run triple to center

Ben Gamel, getting his first start of the season in center field, went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, but got picked off first in a lengthy rundown in the fourth. That wound up costing Seattle a run when catcher Chris Herrmann followed with a triple.

Video: SEA@COL: Gamel plates Span with an infield single

The Mariners also lost a run in the first when replay overturned an RBI infield single by Gamel and curtailed an early two-run rally.

"When you're losing games, you always look at the little things," Servais said. "When you're winning them, we just kind of brush them aside at times. But you can't. It's about how we play. … We've had a good first half. We're sputtering a little and have to regroup, but the positive thing tonight is our at-bats were much better."

SOUND SMART
Dee Gordon collected his 100th hit of the season with his first-inning single. With Jean Segura already at 118, the Mariners have two players with 100 hits before the All-Star break for the first time since 2008, when Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Lopez and Raul Ibanez all reached that mark.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Gamel gave it the college try when he got picked off first on a nice play by Rockies catcher Tony Wolters in the fourth, zig-zagging back and forth as long as he could, before getting tagged out in a 2-3-6-2-4-6-5 rundown.

Video: SEA@COL: Rockies tag out Gamel after long rundown

"I saw the ball down in the dirt and he made a great play," said Gamel.

HE SAID IT
"It's always fun to compete against your friends, but it's a lot more fun when you win." -- Bergman, on facing his former Colorado club for the first time

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Mariners scored two runs on four hits in the first inning off Hoffman, and would have had more if not for a successful challenge by the Rockies on a run-scoring infield single by Gamel. Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu made a nice sliding stop of the 106-mph grounder, spun and threw to first just as Gamel reached the bag. The initial safe call was overturned, however, after a quick review.

Video: SEA@COL: LeMahieu robs Gamel of a hit after review

UP NEXT
Wade LeBlanc (5-0, 3.39 ERA) faces the Rockies for a second straight time during Saturday's 6:10 p.m. PT game. The 33-year-old left-hander allowed five hits and four runs in six innings in a 6-4 win Sunday in Seattle. He's 2-2 with an 8.59 ERA in five career games (four starts) at Coors Field. The Rockies will counter with right-hander Jon Gray (7-7, 5.77 ERA).

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners place Paxton on DL with back injury

Club recalls relievers Lawrence, Morin; Rumbelow, Beckham optioned to Triple-A
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

DENVER -- Mariners left-hander James Paxton was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with inflammation in his lower back, as the club made a flurry of roster moves to bolster its pitching heading into a three-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field to close out the first half.

But manager Scott Servais expects Paxton back as soon as he's eligible to return, and tentatively has him slated to pitch the fourth game after next week's All-Star break.

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DENVER -- Mariners left-hander James Paxton was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with inflammation in his lower back, as the club made a flurry of roster moves to bolster its pitching heading into a three-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field to close out the first half.

But manager Scott Servais expects Paxton back as soon as he's eligible to return, and tentatively has him slated to pitch the fourth game after next week's All-Star break.

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The early pitching plan after the break has Wade LeBlanc, Felix Hernandez and Marco Gonzales pitching on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, against the White Sox, with Paxton pitching Tuesday against the Giants and Mike Leake closing out that Interleague set Wednesday at Safeco Field.

The Mariners will stick with that five-man rotation through July and Servais was reluctant to discuss whether they might add another starter to the mix in August to help reduce the workloads.

"We've talked a lot about it," he said. "Is it mapped out? No. Things change very quickly, as we saw last night in the first inning of that game. Sometimes you get too far down the road. I've never been in a season where the perfect plan works perfectly. It doesn't happen. You have to be willing to adjust and line up as many options and have as much depth as you can within your organization."

Paxton was pulled from Thursday's 11-2 loss to the Angels in Anaheim after giving up three runs on two home runs in his first 17 pitches.

Video: SEA@LAA: Paxton exits in 1st with back stiffness

As expected, the Mariners recalled right-hander Christian Bergman from Triple-A Tacoma to make Friday's spot start against the Rockies in place of Hernandez, who also was placed on the 10-day DL earlier in the week with a stiff lower back.

After the bullpen needed to pick up the final 7 1/3 innings following Paxton's early exit Thursday, the club also recalled right-handed relievers Casey Lawrence and Mike Morin from Tacoma and optioned reliever Nick Rumbelow and infielder Gordon Beckham back to Triple-A.

"Just looking at it, it gives us an extra player here in this series and Paxton wasn't scheduled to pitch in the next 10 days," Servais said. "So, it makes all the sense in the world to do that. Pax felt OK this morning and he doesn't think it's going to be something that causes him to miss his next start."

Paxton flew with the team to Denver for the first-half closing series with the Rockies, instead of going home to see a doctor, another indication that the issue isn't believed to be too serious.

"Standing here, I feel fine," Paxton said. "I think it's more of a fast-twitch thing. I think if it was more serious, it would be hard to walk or stand here. Everything is fine. I think it's just a little rest, a little time, a little TLC and I'll be ready after the break."

Lawrence and Morin both pitched briefly with Seattle earlier in the season. Lawrence, 30, posted a 10.13 ERA with 10 hits and nine runs allowed in eight innings over four appearances in two prior stints with the Mariners, but has gone 6-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 14 outings (11 starts) for Tacoma.

Morin, 27, allowed three hits and one run in two innings in two games for Seattle in June and is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 27 appearances for Tacoma.

Rumbelow, an offseason acquisition from the Yankees, was sent back to Tacoma after allowing four runs on four hits -- including a pair of homers -- in one inning in Thursday's loss. His ERA stands at 7.84, and he's allowed 15 hits and five homers in 10 1/3 innings over eight appearances for Seattle this season.

Beckham was added to the roster this week as an extra infielder and got just one at-bat, hitting into a double-play after replacing shortstop Jean Segura for the final three innings of Thursday's loss. He's hit .200 (7-for-35) in 13 games for Seattle this year.

Injury updates

Catcher Mike Zunino hit off a tee and did some work in the batting cage on Friday, but isn't running yet as he recovers from a bruised left ankle. Servais continues to feel Zunino will be ready to come off the 10-day DL after the All-Star break.

Hernandez is working out at Safeco Field every day, but hasn't started throwing yet as he goes through his own DL stint for a stiff lower back. The veteran right-hander will begin playing catch on Saturday, according to Servais, and then take a normal All-Star break before returning to pitch Saturday against the White Sox.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, James Paxton

Mariners add No. 9 prospect Festa to bullpen

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

DENVER -- The Mariners reached into their prospect ranks to add an extra arm to their bullpen on Saturday, promoting Double-A Arkansas closer Matt Festa for his first shot in the Major Leagues.

"It's kind of indescribable, being here," the 25-year-old said after joining the team prior to Saturday night's 4-1 loss to the Rockies. "You walk into this clubhouse and see all the guys you've always looked up to. Some of them I met in Spring Training, but I'm speechless."

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DENVER -- The Mariners reached into their prospect ranks to add an extra arm to their bullpen on Saturday, promoting Double-A Arkansas closer Matt Festa for his first shot in the Major Leagues.

"It's kind of indescribable, being here," the 25-year-old said after joining the team prior to Saturday night's 4-1 loss to the Rockies. "You walk into this clubhouse and see all the guys you've always looked up to. Some of them I met in Spring Training, but I'm speechless."

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The Mariners wasted no time getting Festa into action, as he replaced Wade LeBlanc with one out in the fifth with Ian Desmond on third. The youngster faced the meat of the order, and gave up a pair of singles to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, allowing Desmond to score, before he got a pair of groundouts to get out of the inning.

Video: SEA@COL: Festa strands a pair in his MLB debut

"I thought Matt handled it well," manager Scott Servais said. "He wasn't fazed by the moment at all. He'll get some more chances here down the road."

Festa is Seattle's No. 9 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and has gone 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 13 saves in 28 appearances for Arkansas. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-hander features a 92-95 mph fastball and quality slider that has helped him rack up 44 strikeouts with just seven walks in 31 2/3 innings this season.

He's the first Draft pick of general manager Jerry Dipoto's first three years in Seattle to get a shot with the big league club and joins outfielder John Andreoli -- who signed as a Minor League free agent last December -- as the second player to make his MLB debut this season for the Mariners.

Festa replaces Christian Bergman, who was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma after making a spot start in Friday's 10-7 loss to the Rockies. The move gives Seattle 10 relievers for the final two games before the All-Star break, with just three starters currently active since Felix Hernandez and James Paxton are temporarily on the 10-day disabled list to rest sore backs.

It's likely just a chance for Festa to get his feet wet in the Majors, and provide an extra reliever until the starters are brought back after the break, but he's understandably thrilled for the opportunity; Servais said he's eager to see how the youngster performs.

"We'll see," said Servais. "This game is results oriented. You come in and do well and see where it goes from there. We'll reshuffle the deck, obviously, when we get back after the break, but he'll get an opportunity here the next couple days to show us what he's got."

The Mariners have jumped pitchers from Double-A to the big leagues before, most notably closer Edwin Diaz and right-hander Dan Altavilla. Festa knows what he needs to do to stick around.

"Keep my pitch count low, throw strikes and get outs," he said. "That's it."

Festa was a seventh-round Draft pick out of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania in 2016. After moving to the bullpen last year for Class A Advanced Modesto, he posted a 4-2 record and 3.23 ERA with six saves in 42 outings before earning a stint in the Arizona Fall League against the game's premier prospects.

"The Fall League really helped," he said. "I was only in High-A last season, but going in there and playing those guys who are unbelievably talented was good. But the most important part was pitching in the Fall Star Game. That was on television, but that was one of my best outings and I really showed myself I could do this."

Festa was invited to Seattle's Major League camp this spring, but never pitched while dealing with a hip issue. After a slight delay to the start of his season, the New York native has gone 13-for-13 in save situations, and now will get at least some brief exposure to the big leagues.

"When I first was told I was coming up, it was like panic in my head," he said. "I'm thinking, 'It's going to be Colorado, Nolan Arenado.' But as the day went on, I realized it's the same game. You're just playing catch out there. Throw it hard, trust your stuff and it's going to play. A lot of people have backed me up and it helps build my confidence. So, when I go out there, I'm just going to let it rip."

There was no hiding the excitement in Festa's voice, however, as he recalled calling his parents to tell them he'd been promoted to the big leagues.

"Very emotional," he said. "Coming into it I was like, 'I'm too excited. I'm not going to cry.' But you hear your mom's voice and you lose it."

Bergman will rejoin Tacoma's rotation after allowing six hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Rockies. The 30-year-old is 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in two starts for Seattle this season and 6-6 with a 4.78 ERA in 18 starts for Tacoma.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners