Gray's strong outing leads Rockies past Mariners, 4-1

DENVER (AP) Jon Gray went back to his power-pitching roots in a strong return to the majors.

Gray returned from a two-week minor league demotion to pitch into the eighth inning, Carlos Gonzalez homered and the Colorado Rockies extended their strong finish to the season's first half by beating the Seattle Mariners 4-1 on Saturday night.

''I put that panic away and just had fun making pitches out there,'' Gray said. ''I was trying to be as natural as I could. I took so many mechanical things out of my mind. Just see the out in your head and make the pitch. I made it that simple today. It was a lot better.''

Ian Desmond added a one-out RBI triple in the fifth that chased Wade LeBlanc, who lost for the first time in his 22 career starts for Seattle. Nolan Arenado, on his bobblehead night, doubled, singled and drove in a run, helping Colorado win for the ninth time in 11 games heading into Sunday's final game before the All-Star break.

''It was nice to put some runs up early and contribute with a home run, but the night belonged to Jon Gray,'' Gonzalez said. ''He did a tremendous job, dominated. Playing defense behind him was relaxing; not a lot of action, except for the eighth inning when they scored that run. But other than that he was tremendous.''

Colorado clinched its fifth consecutive series win, all against teams with records above .500. It's the first time the Rockies have done that in franchise history.

Gray, who had struggled at times with big innings, especially early in his outings, was optioned June 29 to Triple-A Albuquerque in hopes of developing greater consistency in his approach. He made two starts, going 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA before being recalled, and came out strong from the outset, leaning on his 97-mph fastball working the edges of the plate.

''I think Jon was pitching with a lot of conviction,'' Rockies manager Bud Black said. ''I think he was determined today to get back on track.''

Gray (8-7) allowed one run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings while striking out six and walking none. He did not allow a hit until Jean Segura singled to start the fourth.

Ryon Healy's one-out single in the fifth was the only other hit Gray allowed until Ben Gamel singled ahead of Chris Herrmann's one-out RBI double in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Nelson Cruz beat out an infield single and Gray was relieved by Adam Ottavino, who retired the next two batters to quash the threat.

Wade Davis pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 27th save.

LeBlanc (5-1) allowed four runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings.

''It's just not very much fun throwing in a park like this,'' LeBlanc said. ''Not for a guy that relies on late movement because that kind of gets taken away with the thin air. And then you have balls that carry further than it would in normal parks, and bigger outfield because the ball carries. It's just not a good place to pitch. If you don't have you're A-plus game, it's probably going to be a long night here.''

The Mariners played well most of the first half but have dropped six of their last eight.

''It's been a rough week or so. Just really haven't been able to connect all the pieces,'' Herrmann said. ''We're not really hitting in timely situations. The defense has always been there, but it's just one of those things. It's baseball, man. It's a hard sport. There's going to be a lot of ups and downs.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: 2B D.J. LeMahieu was a late scratch because of lower back tightness. Utilityman Pat Valaika took his place in the starting lineup. ... The day after earning his first career win in a relief outing, LHP Harrison Musgrave was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip flexor strain. LHP Sam Howard was recalled from Albuquerque to fill his roster spot.

MARINERS MOVE

RHP Christian Bergman was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma the day after allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 10-7 loss to Colorado on Friday. RHP Matt Festa had his contract from Double-A Arkansas selected by Seattle before the game and made his major league debut when he came on in relief in the fifth inning. Arenado drove his first offering into center field for an RBI single.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (8-6, 4.36 ERA) has gone four innings in each of his last two starts after going seven or more innings in seven of his previous 17 outings.

Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.76 ERA) has gone 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA over his last three starts.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
SEA58-38
000000010150
COL50-45
02002000X4100
  • W: J. Gray (8-7)L: W. LeBlanc (5-1)S: W. Davis (27)
  • HR: COL - C. Gonzalez (11)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
D. Gordon 2B40000011.281.300.346.646-0.5
J. Segura SS40100012.324.355.460.8150.5
M. Haniger RF40000011.269.357.488.845-0.5
K. Seager 3B40000010.236.285.428.713-0.5
D. Span LF40000010.268.356.430.786-0.5
R. Healy 1B30100000.239.268.449.7161.0
B. Gamel CF31100011.288.358.391.7491.5
C. Herrmann C20110101.250.385.469.8534.0
W. LeBlanc P10000011.000.000.000.000-0.5
M. Festa P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
a- G. Heredia PH10000010.229.319.317.636-0.5
R. Elias P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
C. Lawrence P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
b- N. Cruz PH10100000.268.364.540.9051.0
J. Nicasio P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
  • a-struck out for Festa in the 6th
  • b-singled for Lawrence in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
C. Blackmon CF41200000.285.353.497.8504.0
I. Desmond 1B41210021.231.305.447.7524.0
N. Arenado 3B40210001.309.391.585.9774.0
T. Story SS41200002.293.354.552.9073.0
C. Gonzalez RF31121100.285.337.486.82310.0
T. Murphy C40000003.283.309.396.7050.0
G. Parra LF30100010.297.339.407.7463.5
P. Valaika 2B30000122.141.210.217.4270.0
J. Gray P30000021.103.161.138.299-1.0
A. Ottavino P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
W. Davis P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    BATTING
    • 2B - C. Herrmann (2)
    • RBI - C. Herrmann (2)
    BATTING
    • 2B - C. Blackmon (12), N. Arenado (21)
    • 3B - I. Desmond (3)
    • HR - C. Gonzalez (11)
    • RBI - I. Desmond (56), N. Arenado (67), C. Gonzalez 2 (41)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - C. Gonzalez (4), G. Parra (7)
    • CS - I. Desmond (4)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Seager-Gordon-Healy)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Arenado-Valaika-Desmond)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    W. LeBlanc (L, 5-1)4.16442313.631.16-3.5
    M. Festa0.22000000.003.00-2.0
    R. Elias1.00000202.331.094.0
    C. Lawrence1.01000108.101.702.5
    J. Nicasio1.01000106.001.392.5
    PITCHERSIP
    W. LeBlanc (L, 5-1)4.1
    M. Festa0.2
    R. Elias1.0
    C. Lawrence1.0
    J. Nicasio1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Gray (W, 8-7)7.15111605.441.4427.0
    A. Ottavino (H, 20)0.20000101.620.920.5
    W. Davis (S, 27)1.00000103.721.1110.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Gray (W, 8-7)7.1
    A. Ottavino (H, 20)0.2
    W. Davis (S, 27)1.0
    PITCHING
    • WP - M. Festa
    • HBP - W. LeBlanc (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - W. LeBlanc 87-54, M. Festa 10-7, R. Elias 11-8, C. Lawrence 17-14, J. Nicasio 13-9
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - W. LeBlanc 3-5, M. Festa 2-0, R. Elias 1-0, C. Lawrence 1-1, J. Nicasio 1-1
    • Batters Faced - W. LeBlanc 20, M. Festa 4, R. Elias 3, C. Lawrence 4, J. Nicasio 4
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Gray (5)
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Gray 93-64, A. Ottavino 6-5, W. Davis 14-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Gray 10-5, A. Ottavino 1-0, W. Davis 1-1
    • Batters Faced - J. Gray 27, A. Ottavino 2, W. Davis 3
    • Balks - J. Gray
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    SEA58-38
    000000010150
    COL50-45
    02002000X4100
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    D. Gordon 2B40000011.281.300.346.646-0.5
    J. Segura SS40100012.324.355.460.8150.5
    M. Haniger RF40000011.269.357.488.845-0.5
    K. Seager 3B40000010.236.285.428.713-0.5
    D. Span LF40000010.268.356.430.786-0.5
    R. Healy 1B30100000.239.268.449.7161.0
    B. Gamel CF31100011.288.358.391.7491.5
    C. Herrmann C20110101.250.385.469.8534.0
    W. LeBlanc P10000011.000.000.000.000-0.5
    M. Festa P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    a- G. Heredia PH10000010.229.319.317.636-0.5
    R. Elias P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    C. Lawrence P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    b- N. Cruz PH10100000.268.364.540.9051.0
    J. Nicasio P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    Total311510187-----
    • a-struck out for Festa in the 6th
    • b-singled for Lawrence in the 8th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    C. Blackmon CF41200000.285.353.497.8504.0
    I. Desmond 1B41210021.231.305.447.7524.0
    N. Arenado 3B40210001.309.391.585.9774.0
    T. Story SS41200002.293.354.552.9073.0
    C. Gonzalez RF31121100.285.337.486.82310.0
    T. Murphy C40000003.283.309.396.7050.0
    G. Parra LF30100010.297.339.407.7463.5
    P. Valaika 2B30000122.141.210.217.4270.0
    J. Gray P30000021.103.161.138.299-1.0
    A. Ottavino P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    W. Davis P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    Total32410412710-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Herrmann (2)
      • RBI - C. Herrmann (2)
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Blackmon (12), N. Arenado (21)
      • 3B - I. Desmond (3)
      • HR - C. Gonzalez (11)
      • RBI - I. Desmond (56), N. Arenado (67), C. Gonzalez 2 (41)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - C. Gonzalez (4), G. Parra (7)
      • CS - I. Desmond (4)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Seager-Gordon-Healy)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Arenado-Valaika-Desmond)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      W. LeBlanc (L, 5-1)4.16442313.631.16-3.5
      M. Festa0.22000000.003.00-2.0
      R. Elias1.00000202.331.094.0
      C. Lawrence1.01000108.101.702.5
      J. Nicasio1.01000106.001.392.5
      Total8.01044271---
      PITCHERSIP
      W. LeBlanc (L, 5-1)4.1
      M. Festa0.2
      R. Elias1.0
      C. Lawrence1.0
      J. Nicasio1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Gray (W, 8-7)7.15111605.441.4427.0
      A. Ottavino (H, 20)0.20000101.620.920.5
      W. Davis (S, 27)1.00000103.721.1110.5
      Total9.0511180---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Gray (W, 8-7)7.1
      A. Ottavino (H, 20)0.2
      W. Davis (S, 27)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - M. Festa
      • HBP - W. LeBlanc (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - W. LeBlanc 87-54, M. Festa 10-7, R. Elias 11-8, C. Lawrence 17-14, J. Nicasio 13-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - W. LeBlanc 3-5, M. Festa 2-0, R. Elias 1-0, C. Lawrence 1-1, J. Nicasio 1-1
      • Batters Faced - W. LeBlanc 20, M. Festa 4, R. Elias 3, C. Lawrence 4, J. Nicasio 4
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Gray (5)
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Gray 93-64, A. Ottavino 6-5, W. Davis 14-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Gray 10-5, A. Ottavino 1-0, W. Davis 1-1
      • Batters Faced - J. Gray 27, A. Ottavino 2, W. Davis 3
      • Balks - J. Gray
      • 8TH INNING
        Herrmann doubled to deep right center, Gamel scored14
      • 5TH INNING
        Arenado singled to right center, Desmond scored04
        Desmond tripled to deep center, Blackmon scored03
      • 2ND INNING
        Gonzalez homered to center, Story scored02
      • 9TH INNING
        • Wade Davis relieved Adam Ottavino
        • M. Haniger: Ball, Foul, Ball, Haniger popped out to second
        • K. Seager: Strike looking, Ball, Seager grounded out to first
        • D. Span: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Span struck out looking
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • J. Gray Pitching:
        • R. Healy: Ball, Strike swinging, Healy grounded out to pitcher
        • B. Gamel: Strike looking, Gamel singled to right
        • C. Herrmann: Herrmann doubled to deep right center, Gamel scored
        • Nelson Cruz hit for Casey Lawrence
        • N. Cruz: Foul, Ball, Cruz reached on an infield single to third, Herrmann to third
        • Adam Ottavino relieved Jon Gray
        • D. Gordon: Ball, Strike swinging, Gordon reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Herrmann out at home, Cruz to second
        • J. Segura: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Segura struck out looking
        • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Juan Nicasio pitching
        • C. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gonzalez flied out to shallow left
        • T. Murphy: Murphy grounded out to shortstop
        • G. Parra: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Parra singled to right center
        • P. Valaika: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Valaika struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • J. Gray Pitching:
        • M. Haniger: Haniger grounded out to second
        • K. Seager: Strike looking, Strike looking, Seager grounded out to first
        • D. Span: Strike looking, Span grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Casey Lawrence relieved Roenis Elias
        • C. Blackmon: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Blackmon grounded out to shortstop
        • I. Desmond: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Desmond struck out swinging
        • N. Arenado: Foul, Foul, Ball, Arenado doubled to right
        • T. Story: Strike swinging, Foul, Story flied out to left
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Guillermo Heredia hit for Matthew Festa
        • G. Heredia: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Heredia struck out swinging
        • D. Gordon: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
        • J. Segura: Ball, Segura flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Roenis Elias pitching
        • G. Parra: Strike looking, Parra grounded out to second
        • P. Valaika: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Valaika struck out on foul tip
        • J. Gray: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Gray struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Gray Pitching:
        • D. Span: Span flied out to deep left
        • R. Healy: Strike looking, Healy singled to right center
        • B. Gamel: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Gamel reached on fielder's choice to second, Healy out at second
        • C. Herrmann: Foul, Foul, Ball, Gamel to second on wild pitch, Foul, Ball, Herrmann grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • W. LeBlanc Pitching:
        • J. Gray: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Gray struck out swinging
        • C. Blackmon: Blackmon singled to center
        • I. Desmond: Foul, Strike swinging, Desmond tripled to deep center, Blackmon scored
        • Matthew Festa relieved Wade LeBlanc
        • N. Arenado: Arenado singled to right center, Desmond scored
        • T. Story: Ball, Story singled to center, Arenado to second
        • C. Gonzalez: Foul, Ball, Arenado to third, Story to second on wild pitch, Gonzalez reached on fielder's choice to second, Arenado out at home, Story to third
        • T. Murphy: Strike looking, Gonzalez stole second, Strike swinging, Ball, Murphy grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 5th (2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Gray Pitching:
        • J. Segura: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Segura singled to left
        • M. Haniger: Haniger grounded into double play third to second to first, Segura out at second
        • K. Seager: Strike looking, Seager flied out to left
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • W. LeBlanc Pitching:
        • C. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gonzalez walked
        • T. Murphy: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Murphy grounded into double play third to second to first, Gonzalez out at second
        • G. Parra: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Parra hit by pitch
        • P. Valaika: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Parra stole second, Ball, Foul, Valaika flied out to center
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Gray Pitching:
        • B. Gamel: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gamel struck out swinging
        • C. Herrmann: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Herrmann walked
        • W. LeBlanc: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, LeBlanc struck out bunting foul
        • D. Gordon: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Foul, Ball, Gordon lined out to left
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • W. LeBlanc Pitching:
        • C. Blackmon: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Blackmon doubled to deep left
        • I. Desmond: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Desmond struck out swinging
        • N. Arenado: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Arenado lined out to center, Blackmon to third
        • T. Story: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Story flied out to deep center
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Gray Pitching:
        • K. Seager: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Seager struck out swinging
        • D. Span: Ball, Span flied out to left
        • R. Healy: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Healy grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • W. LeBlanc Pitching:
        • T. Story: Strike looking, Foul, Story singled to shallow left center
        • C. Gonzalez: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Gonzalez homered to center, Story scored
        • T. Murphy: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Murphy flied out to center
        • G. Parra: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Parra struck out swinging
        • P. Valaika: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Valaika walked
        • J. Gray: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Gray grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 2nd (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Gray Pitching:
        • D. Gordon: Ball, Foul, Gordon grounded out to second
        • J. Segura: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Segura grounded out to shortstop
        • M. Haniger: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Haniger struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • W. LeBlanc Pitching:
        • C. Blackmon: Strike looking, Ball, Blackmon grounded out to first
        • I. Desmond: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Desmond singled to shallow center
        • N. Arenado: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Desmond picked off at second, first to pitcher to second, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Arenado lined out to right
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)