SEATTLE (AP) — With the count in his favor and Colorado struggling to score runs in recent days, Mark Reynolds figured getting a high fastball on a 2-1 pitch was a good time to swing for the fences.
No fence – or park – was going to contain that swing.
“You’ve got to pick your spots where you try to hit one far,” Reynolds said. “I figured 2-1 count, first at-bat there, was a pretty good spot to take a chance.”
Reynolds and Nolan Arenado homered to back Kyle Freeland, and the Rockies stopped a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
Colorado closed out four straight games against the Mariners in interleague play by jumping on Yovani Gallardo (2-6) with four runs in the second inning. Reynolds provided the big blow with a two-run homer to deep left-center field, his 14th this season. Arenado led off the third inning with his 13th home run, and the Rockies stopped Seattle’s four-game winning streak.
The shot from Reynolds would have gone 450 feet unimpeded and nearly reached the second deck of seats in left-center. It was also the first time the Rockies led during the home-and-home series. Gerardo Parra had four hits and drove in a run.
“It was a big hit for our club. We hadn’t scored many runs this series. I don’t think we had a lead until then,” Reynolds said. “To get a couple runs early and hitting is contagious, we got a couple more runs that inning and give Free a little cushion to go out there and pitch not feeling like he has to be perfect.”
Gallardo lasted just three innings and gave up five earned runs, but the bigger concern for the Mariners was injuries to designated hitter Nelson Cruz and shortstop Jean Segura. Cruz was hit on the top of his left hand with a pitch from Freeland in the third inning. Cruz remained in the game but was lifted for pinch-hitter Boog Powell in the fifth. Segura was helped off the field after injuring his right ankle on a slide into second base in the fourth inning.
Segura’s appeared the more serious of the two injuries. Segura was trying to advance on a sacrifice fly that scored Ben Gamel when Arenado cut off the throw from the outfield and instead threw to second to in time for Segura to be tagged out. Segura’s slid hard into the base, and his right ankle appeared to get awkwardly pinned under his body.
Both Segura and Cruz were undergoing additional tests and an update was expected Friday.
“I am hopeful it’s only going to be a day-to-day thing with both of those guys. We’ll just have to wait and see,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Freeland (6-3) won for the third time in four starts despite hitting three batters. He pitched out of trouble in the second inning when Danny Valencia popped out with the bases loaded. The only runs Freeland allowed came on Guillermo Heredia’s solo home run and the sacrifice fly where Segura was hurt.
Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
Reynolds’ 14 home runs match his season total from all of 2016 when he hit 14 in 118 games with the Rockies and topped the 13 he hit in 2015. Eleven of his 14 homers have come against right-handed pitching.
Overshadowed by Seattle’s injuries was a record performance out of the bullpen by right-hander Casey Lawrence. Lawrence pitched five innings in relief of Gallardo and set a club record with nine strikeouts by a relief pitcher. It was the most strikeouts by a reliever in the majors since David Phelps for the Yankees in 2013.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (shoulder) is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Friday. Hernandez will likely throw two innings. Barring any setbacks, Hernandez could be sent out on a rehab assignment the middle of next week. … OF Mitch Haniger (oblique) will resume taking batting practice on Friday and is expected to through the weekend before being re-evaluated.
Rockies: German Marquez (4-2) will start on Friday as the Rockies return to National League play opening a three-game series in San Diego.
Mariners: Christian Bergman (2-2) starts as Seattle opens a three-game series against Tampa Bay. Bergman threw seven shutout innings in his last start, against Boston.