DENVER -- The Mariners took advantage of Kyle Seager's two-run double, a wild performance from Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood and seat-of-the-pants pitching to hang on for a 6-5 Memorial Day victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.
The Mariners, stabilizing after a crippling run of injuries to their starting rotation, have won three of their last five. Although the National League West-leading Rockies have been hot in May, the loss dropped their lead over the sizzling Dodgers to a half-game.
"You never know what's going to happen in this ballpark," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We had a lot of opportunities to add on. You're never comfortable here, but you're hoping to get a few more. Good offense today. We created a lot of traffic. We've played better the last couple days. Our offense is starting to come together a little bit, which is good to see."
The up-and-down Chatwood (4-7), coming off seven innings of one-hit pitching at Philadelphia, gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings Monday afternoon. It was Seager's bases-loaded double in the fifth that chased Chatwood, and Danny Valencia's RBI single off reliever Scott Oberg gave the M's a 6-3 lead.
Chatwood dropped to 2-4 with a 7.03 ERA in six starts at Coors this season. Although the road numbers are much better (2-3, 3.06 ERA), those were helped by two stellar games among his five. Poor execution -- along with some mistake pitches, he had three walks, a hit batsman and a wild pitch -- has been an issue no matter the venue.
"He got off to a good start, I think, with the two zeros right off the get-go, but the third and the fifth were a struggle for him, for sure," Rockies manager Bud Black said.
Mariners starter Sam Gaviglio (1-1) survived solo homers from Charlie Blackmon in the third and Trevor Story in the fifth, yielding five runs on six hits in five innings. Six Mariners relievers held the Rockies scoreless on one hit. The relief effort culminated with Edwin Diaz striking out two for his ninth save.
"We have to give credit today to our bullpen," said Robinson Cano. "That was outstanding. Especially in this field. Anything you hit in the air might be a homer. That was a great job. We were leading by one run after the [sixth] inning. [Four] innings, it was pretty good by our bullpen coming in and shutting them down."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
One pitch away, but it never came: Chatwood gave up Gaviglio's first Major league hit, hit Jean Segura and walked Ben Gamel in his first fit of wildness -- the third inning. But the inning turned on Chatwood's bases-loaded wild pitch with Cano up. It not only let the first run score, but it negated a double-play possibility. Cano grounded to second. Chatwood would retire three straight, but the M's would finish the frame with a 3-0 lead.
A frustrated Chatwood noted that the wild pitch and the curve that he hung to Seager were the difference between escaping with a win-worthy outing and suffering a loss.
"Obviously, I had traffic, but I had chances to get out of it limiting the damage, and I wasn't able to do that," he said.
Pazos hangs on: Seeing some dangerous left-handed hitters on the horizon, Servais replaced Gaviglio with lefty James Pazos with a 6-3 lead, no outs and two on in the sixth. Pazos promptly wild-pitched the runners to second and third before doing just enough to escape the inning with the lead. Pazos' deft glove save on a hard Carlos Gonzalez grounder accounted for one out. A run scored on Mark Reynolds' fielder's-choice grounder. Gerardo Parra (3-for-4, 2 RBIs) doubled in a run, before Pazos fanned Story.
"Pazos has been key for us all year, and his ability to run through the right-handed hitters as well as the lefties," Servais said. "He got the ball up to Parra and got the RBI [double] there. His confidence is very good. Enough breaking ball to keep them off the fastball, and the fastball's got a lot of life."
"About time. About time we get that. Especially against a first-place team at their place -- it says a lot. We have a team, we compete. We just have to grind it every single day." -- Cano, on the offense waking up over the last couple days
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was the second time in Parra's career that he has recorded back-to-back three-hit games. The other was Sept. 21-22, 2013.
McGEE HOLDS FORT
Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino's spotty control continued when he gave up a leadoff Mike Zunino single and walked two (one intentionally) to load the bases in the eighth. But Rockies lefty Jake McGee fanned Guillermo Heredia and forced a Cano fly to center. He struck out another in a scoreless ninth to run his scoreless streak to 7 1/3 innings.
Although Oberg hung the breaking ball to Valencia, the Rockies' bullpen -- like the Mariners' -- escaped scoreless, in 4 2/3 innings. Ottavino's outing was a struggle, but the Rockies got solid work from Oberg (two strikeouts), Jordan Lyles (two innings, no baserunners) and McGee. More >
Mariners: Seattle sends left-hander Ariel Miranda to face the Rockies for the first time in his career in Tuesday's 4:10 p.m. PT tilt. Miranda is on a roll, having allowed only four earned runs over his last three starts. He won his last start in D.C. with five innings of two-run ball, allowing three hits and three walks..
Rockies: Lefty Tyler Anderson (3-4, 5.40 ERA) has found his form over his last four starts -- a 2.55 ERA with 32 strikeouts and seven walks. He hopes to continue his roll against the Mariners on Tuesday at Coors at 5:10 p.m. MT.
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