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May 19, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Coors Field has been rejuvenating for Mariners (or is it playing Rockies?)

(Photo by Getty Images)
The Rockies look like a lost team right now, one struggling to score runs and not capable of overcoming poor outings by their starters.
Kind of like the Mariners on this road trip, right up until they stepped into Coors Field. They turned in another strong effort Saturday in their 10-3 win. Jason Vargas wasn’t quite as sharp as Kevin Millwood, but he was plenty good enough, and was one pitch away from getting out of the seventh unscathed. The Rockies wound up scoring three that inning — the only inning out of 18 in the first two games in which they’ve scored.

Vargas said he learned from watching Millwood confound the Rockies with well-placed fastballs in the early part of Friday’s game. He had already formulated a game plan to rely heavily on fastballs, a strategy he devised on the last homestand during discussions with Miguel Olivo, who played a season in Colorado before moving to the Mariners. Olivo was on the disabled list but still found a way to contribute. Vargas had pitched twice before in Coors Field and had an 18.00 ERA to show for it (16 earned runs in eight innings).
“Coming here before, I’ve tried to go back and forth (between fastballs and breaking balls) and keep guys off balance, and I’ve fallen behind,” Vargas said. “I was going to try to pound zone with fastballs like Millwood did last night. I had a little hiccup in the seventh, but got through it.
“I talked to Miggy about that before we even came here. It was one of those things where I was going to pound the zone with fastballs and see where it took us.”
Offensively, the Mariners had their biggest scoring output of the season. They had 14 hits, and were 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position, after going 6-for-58 (.103) previously on the road trip.
Kyle Seager led the way with three hits, including his fifth homer, and three RBIs. If he keeps hitting like that, people outside of Seattle are going to have to take notice.
“I think they already do,”manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s up there ready to hit. He’s a young hitter still learning, but I think he has a good feel for his hitting zone, and he’s getting a better feel for the strike zone. He’s confident, and not afraid to take some chances up there. In order to be a good hitter up here, you have to be willing to do that. He’s had a lot of big hits in a lot of key situations for us.”
Jesus Montero had a nice day with three hard-hit singles as well as a walk that preceded Seager’s homer. He felt the walk, on a close 3-2 pitch, is what got him going.
“When you’re in a slump, and things are going a little bad, you have to slow everything down, see more pitches, see better pitches, and don’t swing at bad pitches,” he said. “That’s what I tried to do today, relax and hit good pitches.”
Brendan Ryan was another slumping hitter who had a good day with two hits, including a triple.
“It’s going to take a few more good days,” he said. “I try not to get obsessed with the results. It’s hard not to when it seems like the hill is so steep. I felt I let the ball travel today, and felt I made pretty good passes at pitches.
“Things got contagious throughout the lineup, so it was a fun day, but I don’t think I’m over the hill. I’m on the right track. If I keep putting in the right work day in and day out, hopefully I’ll be back on track and helping team win games.”

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Jesus Montero


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