Austin Gomber hadn’t played a major league game since June 19, so Wednesday afternoon was a big test for the left-handed Rockies.
He passed with flying colors. His performance and big first offense inning brought Colorado to a 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field.
Gomber, the centerpiece of Nolan’s Arenado trade with St. Louis in February, landed on the injured list on June 20 with a tightness in his left forearm. The Rockies see him as a mainstay in their rotation for years to come, so they wanted to make sure his arm was healthy.
Throw away three misplaced pitches and Gomber would have had an A-plus afternoon. Still, he struck well enough to set the table for Colorado’s victory.
The left-hander was efficient and only needed 71 pitches (42 strikes) to survive his six innings. He cut three, only went one and gave up three hits, all solo home runs. Kyle Seager crushed a fastball in the first field 439 feet into the middle to lead the second, Luis Torrens reeled a 2-2 fastball into the left grandstand to open the fifth, and Mitch Haniger hit a one- Out-Homer. tear a 1-0 fastball to the left.
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Before Gomber went to the IL, he was one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. In his previous eight starts, he was 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA, stroking 42 and walking only three.
Colorado attacked Seattle right-hander Keynan Middleton in the first inning, scoring five runs. Middleton made his first major league start after appearing as a reliever in 128 games.
Starting with Raimel Tapia’s lead-off bloops single to the left, the Rockies hit five hits in the inning. Charlie Blackmon’s single ran in Tapia, C.J. Cron racked up an RBI with a base-loaded walk, and catcher Dom Nunez hit a double-threesome off the fence in the right center field.
Colorado produced a run in the fourth, using Sam Hilliard and Nunez back-to-back walks, a sacrificial bunt from Gomber, and a sacrificial fly from Tapia.
The Rockies, who improved to 33-20 at home, have Thursday off before opening a 10-game road trip on the West Coast against the Dodgers on Friday. The Rockies are 9-34.
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