Cruz homers in 5th straight game, extends hit streak to 15 games as Mariners top Rockies 10-4



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DENVER — Jon Gray, the Colorado Rockies' most anticipated pitching prospect, did his best to find a silver lining after his major league debut on Tuesday night.

Recording his first strikeout against Nelson Cruz, one of baseball's hottest hitters, felt good. As did bouncing back after a 33-pitch first inning.

There was still plenty to work on, however.

Gray allowed three runs — two earned — and five hits, striking out four in four innings.

Cruz homered for the fifth consecutive game and the Seattle Mariners spoiled Gray's debut and pummeled Colorado 10-4.

"It took me awhile to settle down. I was a little disappointed in the first inning, but proud of the way I bounced back," Gray said.

Seattle touched the third overall pick of the 2013 draft early, scoring twice in the first.

Gray then allowed an unearned run in the fourth on two singles and an error that gave the Mariners a 3-1 lead.

Assuredly, his stuff wasn't the problem, said Rockies catcher Nick Hundley.

"You could see the nerves and obviously that's part of the territory," Hundley said. "He's coming out throwing 97 (mph). It's good for the guys on the team. The future is really bright for him."

Gray's teammates rallied to keep him out of the loss column. Charlie Blackmon's homer in the first, the 10th leadoff blast of his career, made it 2-1, and Hundley hit a two-run shot to tie it at 3 in the fourth.

"You want to see your team fight like that. They pick you up as much just as much as you can pick them up," Gray said.

After he departed, the wheels came off for the free-falling Rockies.

Cruz hit his 31st home run of the season and singled to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. And Franklin Gutierrez's two-run, pinch-hit single in the sixth off reliever Christian Friedrich (0-3) gave the Mariners the lead for good.

For Colorado, DJ LeMahieu bounced back from striking out five times Monday with two hits. And Kyle Parker hit his first major league home run.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (right elbow inflammation) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday that manager Walt Weiss said was "encouraging." Bettis will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session Friday in Washington and face live hitting Aug. 11. ... An MRI on RHP Kyle Kendrick's right shoulder on Monday revealed no structural damage, just inflammation.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.73) is coming off his best start of the season. The 22-year-old tossed a one-hitter in a 6-1 win over Minnesota on Friday.

Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (3-4, 4.61) is seeking his first win since June 21. He is 0-2 with a 4.21 ERA in his past seven games, six starts.

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