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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
"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.
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.