Mariners-Rockies Preview

The Colorado Rockies have been giving up runs at an alarming

rate at home, but a visit from the Seattle Mariners could provide

some relief.

The Rockies open a three-game interleague series Friday night

against the Mariners, who have one of baseball’s most anemic

offenses.

Coors Field has never been the most pitcher-friendly ballpark,

but it’s been especially frustrating for the home team in 2012.

Colorado fell to 9-11 there with a 9-7 loss to Arizona on Thursday

– the fifth time in the last seven home games it allowed at least

seven runs.

The Rockies (15-22) have a 5.67 ERA at home – worst in the

majors. In the last 11 in Denver, it’s at 6.29.

It was the bullpen that struggled Thursday, although starter

Juan Nicasio failed to make it out of the fifth inning. Rex

Brothers gave up four runs in the eighth and Justin Upton hit a

two-out, two-run homer off closer Rafael Betancourt in the

ninth.

The Rockies failed to win their third straight, which would have

matched their longest winning streak of the season.

Colorado’s pitching staff could have an easier time against the

Mariners (16-24), who have dropped four straight and are 1-6 on a

10-game road trip.

They blew two late leads in a 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Indians

on Thursday. Steve Delabar gave up three runs in the eighth, and

after Michael Saunders doubled home a run in the top of the 11th to

put Seattle ahead, Brandon League gave up two in the bottom of the

inning after issuing three walks and a wild pitch.

“We gave them that game,” manager Eric Wedge said. “Walks

killed us early and walks killed us late. I liked the way we

battled back after they tied the score the first time, but then we

blew it again.”

The defeat dropped Seattle to 1-12 away from home since April

28, with the team batting .216 and averaging 2.4 runs during that

stretch.

The Mariners will send Kevin Millwood (1-4, 5.09 ERA) to the

mound in the opener as he faces one of his former teams. The

right-hander signed late last season with Colorado after being

released by Boston and made nine starts, going 4-3 with a 3.98

ERA.

After struggling through his first six starts with Seattle, he

allowed one run and three hits in seven innings of a 6-2 victory

over the Yankees on Sunday for his first win.

“I thought he was outstanding today,” Wedge said. ”He did a

great job with his secondary stuff.”

Millwood is 8-3 with a 3.30 ERA against the Rockies, last facing

them in 2005 while with Cleveland, but several Rockies have hit

well off him. Michael Cuddyer is 12 for 28 (.429) with two homers

and four doubles against Millwood while Jason Giambi has homered

three times among his eight hits in 19 at-bats.

Colorado counters with Alex White (0-2, 6.75).

After going 6 1-3 innings in his season debut May 8, White

stumbled against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, allowing six

runs in 4 1-3 innings of an 11-5 loss.

This will be his first time facing the Mariners.

The Rockies have won four straight against Seattle, sweeping a

three-game home series in 2009.