Cruz's 41st among 4 HRs as Seattle rocks Rox

Cruz's 41st among 4 HRs as Seattle rocks Rox

SEATTLE -- Robinson Cano, Jesus Montero and Franklin Gutierrez each launched solo home runs and Nelson Cruz tied the Orioles' Chris Davis for Major League lead with his 41st blast as the Mariners muscled their way to a 7-2 win over the Rockies Saturday night at Safeco Field.

Mariners starter Roenis Elias was dominant early, striking out seven of the first nine hitters in three perfect innings to open the ballgame. The lefty lost his command in the sixth, though, allowing two four-pitch walks and two runs, but held Colorado to just one hit in 5 1/3 innings and earned his first win since June 19.

Elias' solid outing

Colorado's Yohan Flande lasted just 3 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking two for his shortest of nine starts this season. The 29-year-old left-hander got Mark Trumbo to fly out to right to start the fourth but allowed four straight Seattle hitters to reach base before exiting with two outs and just 74 pitches thrown.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cano circles the bases: Cano has been slowed by an abdominal strain over the last couple weeks, but he didn't show it in the second inning. The second baseman cranked a 1-0 sinker to right and off the video board for his 16th home run of the season. The round-tripper -- one of four Seattle blasts on Saturday -- put the Mariners up 1-0 and also put Cano in elite company, making him just the fifth player in Major League history to log 50 extra-base hits in 11 straight seasons to start a career. He joins Carlos Lee (13 seasons), Albert Pujols (12), Eddie Matthews (12) and Paul Waner (11) in the elite category.

"It means a lot. First I want to thank God for that. That's something that I take pride in and make me proud of myself," Cano said of the extra-base hits milestone. "Those are the kind of things that I go home and it makes me work even harder every single year."

Mariners' four homers

Gonzalez diving catch: With two runs already in and two runners aboard in the fourth, Rockies right-fielder Carlos Gonzalez prevented further damage with an inning-ending diving catch of Cruz's liner into the corner.

Statcast: CarGo's diving grab

Squeezing home a run: It took catcher John Hicks seven Major League games to get his first career RBI and it came in unconventional fashion. With a 1-0 count, one out and Shawn O'Malley charging home from third, Hicks executed his end of the suicide squeeze to perfection, bunting the ball toward Flande to give O'Malley plenty of time to score. The squeeze play gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead.

"I guess I'm a little old school in that fashion," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "If I score four they gotta get five to beat me. We thought it was the perfect time to do it."

Hicks' first career RBI

Failure to connect: The Rockies put only two balls in play through the first three innings.

"We had a hard time making contact early," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I think we punched out seven times first time through the order. Their lefty was electric early on. He lost some command later. We had some small opportunities, but they jumped out to a big lead so it was tough playing from behind."

QUOTABLE
"For me, I'm always going to say the same thing. We're going to keep playing, we're going to face Houston, we're going to face Texas and Anaheim. We're going to face all of them. And we know what can happen. We've just gotta keep on continuing winning games." -- Cano, on Seattle's postseason outlook

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Left out: With their inability to solve Elias, the Rockies fell to 6-26 against left-handed starters. They're scheduled to face lefties in each of their next four games -- Seattle's James Paxton on Sunday, followed by Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood of the Dodgers.

WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Kyle Kendrick (5-12, 6.25 ERA) will make his third start since coming off the disabled list in Sunday's series finale at Safeco Field. In his last start, Kendrick allowed three runs in five innings for his first victory since July 26. He has never faced the Mariners. First pitch is set for 2:10 p.m. MT.

Mariners: James Paxton (3-3, 3.70 ERA) makes his first start since May 28 against the Rockies at 1:10 p.m. PT. The left-hander, who missed more than three months rehabbing a strained tendon in his left middle finger, has never faced the Rockies but is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two Interleague starts this season.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.