Rockies' Bettis mows down Mariners

Rockies' Bettis mows down Mariners

SEATTLE -- Chad Bettis dominated the Mariners with seven scoreless innings and rookie catcher Dustin Garneau cranked a three-run homer as the Rockies opened an Interleague series at Safeco Field with a 4-2 win on Friday night.

Bettis (7-5, 4.59 ERA) allowed just three hits with three walks and six strikeouts as Colorado won in its first game in Seattle since 2006. Reliever Christian Friedrich gave up a two-run homer to Kyle Seager in the eighth, but the Rockies held on for just their fourth win in 18 Interleague games.

"[Bettis is] fine. His last time out, he would never make an excuse for anything, but he was sick," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "He looked great tonight."

Axford closes the door

Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4, 4.05) had a three-hit shutout going with one out in the seventh, but then was knocked out by five straight hits, including Garneau's homer. The Mariners, who had won seven of their previous nine, fell to 68-74.

"To be honest, I made decent pitches," Iwakuma said of his seventh-inning struggles. "They put up good at-bats. The only bad pitch I had in that inning was the slider that kind of spun and backed up into his barrel. Besides that, I thought I did a pretty good job."

Iwakuma's quality start

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Garneau goes deep: It took Garneau 10 games to hit his first Major League homer, but he wasted very little time putting home run No. 2 in the books. After grounding out to third in the third and popping out to fellow catcher John Hicks in the fifth, Garneau broke the pitchers' duel wide open in the seventh, cranking a first-pitch slider from Iwakuma that Statcast™ estimated at 381 feet to left for a three-run shot. More >

Garneau's three-run home run

Making the most of his opportunity: James Jones got his first start in center field for the Mariners since his September callup and came through with two hits, his first of the season after going 0-for-12 in earlier stints this year. Jones used his speed to leg out a double in the third inning on a grounder up the middle that eluded shortstop Daniel Descalso. When the ball rolled into shallow center, Jones just kept running and wound up at second, though he was stranded there. Jones led off the sixth with a single and advanced to third before again being left standing.

Jones' hustle double

"He did a nice job in the leadoff spot today," said Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon. "He had a couple hits and ran the bases extremely well."

Safe and sound after six: Bettis' biggest trouble came in the sixth, when he allowed a leadoff single to Jones and walked Seager on four pitches to put runners on first and second with no outs. After working a full count to Nelson Cruz, Bettis got the Mariners slugger to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and later got Mark Trumbo to chase on a 1-2 changeup to get out of the inning unscathed.

Bettis escapes jam in 6th

"Double play was huge. We stress it so much, you get two outs with one pitch. You can minimize damage," Weiss said. "He's got the changeup he can go to to get that ground ball, he's got the two-seamer, so he's got some weapons, but that was a big one."

Seager keeps swinging it: The Mariners' third baseman continued his torrid recent run with a two-run homer in the eighth that cut the Rockies lead to 3-2. After Shawn O'Malley walked to lead off the inning against Friedrich, Seager jumped on the first pitch he saw for his 24th blast. Seager has hit .463 (25-for-54) with five homers and 18 RBIs over his last 14 games to hike his season average from .254 to .274.

Seager's two-run homer

"It was a pitch up in the zone a little and something I thought I could handle and fortunately it worked out," said Seager, who is one shy of his career-high homer total set last year. More >

QUOTABLE
"I don't think he hit a wall. He elevated some pitches. Obviously the one pitch that killed him was the backup slider. He'd been throwing extremely well and for some reason just left some pitches up that inning." -- McClendon, on Iwakuma

McClendon on Mariners' 4-2 loss

"Yeah, with me and Murph, I guess I am. I got three weeks on him, so I'm the veteran now." -- Garneau, on being the 'veteran' catcher after Tom Murphy was called up Friday

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Garneau's home run ended a 24-inning scoreless streak for Seattle's pitchers, who shut out the Rangers the previous two games. The Mariners have never recorded three straight shutouts in franchise history.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Lefty Yohan Flande (3-2, 4.65 ERA) gets the nod against the Mariners in the second game of the three-game series Saturday at 7:10 p.m. MT at Safeco. Flande tossed a scoreless inning in relief Aug. 5 against Seattle to earn his second win. He is winless in his last three starts with a 6.91 ERA and did not pitch more than five innings in any of those starts.

Mariners: Roenis Elias (4-8, 4.30) starts Saturday's 6:10 p.m. PT contest at Safeco in his first time facing the Rockies. The 27-year-old Cuban is 0-2, 4.42 in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.