The Colorado Rockies have been getting contributions from the top to the bottom of their lineup.
Especially the bottom.
The Rockies got three RBIs from their No. 9 hitter for the second consecutive day, beating the host Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Saturday to extend their winning streak to five games.
They’ll go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field, where right-hander Antonio Senzatela (3-1, 4.44 ERA) takes on Seattle left-hander Wade LeBlanc (4-0, 3.19).
On Friday, catcher Tony Wolters had two triples and three RBIs from the ninth spot as the Rockies won 7-1. On Saturday, rookie right fielder Noel Cuevas had three hits, including a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning off Mariners ace James Paxton.
“That’s what happens when you go on a little run of wins. The contributions are coming from multiple guys, whether it’s bench players or the guy getting the start. … You’re going to get tired of hearing me say that it’s going to take 25 guys, but it’s truly the case,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We can’t just rely on our main guys. This team is in a good spot. I like how we are kind of coming together with this group and we have to continue.”
The top three batters in the Rockies’ order — DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado — combined to go 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts on Saturday. But the bottom three — Pat Valaika, Gerardo Parra and Cuevas — had seven of the team’s 10 hits.
“It’s a team sport; definitely today was the example,” Cuevas said. “The top of the order didn’t have the day that it wanted. We were able to get out with a ‘W,’ because the bottom of the order did their job.”
Cuevas’ homer, the second of his career, came one pitch after he failed to get down a squeeze bunt.
“I wasn’t happy at that moment that I missed it (the bunt) — we were trying to get that run in,” Cuevas said. “But after that, it was short memory. I missed it. So what? Next pitch, I can’t remember that I just missed the bunt. I need to be ready for that pitch. That was it.”
Right-hander German Marquez and left-hander Kyle Freeland gave up one solo home run apiece in the first two games of the series. Freeland was gone by the time Cuevas homered Saturday, making a winner of reliever Scott Oberg.
“The bullpen is doing a nice job, but it starts with starting pitching, keeping us in games and doing their job,” Black said. “We will be at it (Sunday) and hopefully Antonio (Senzatela) can do what the crew has done over the last 10 days.”
Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger returned to the lineup Saturday after missing two games with a sprained right knee, but second baseman Dee Gordon was limited to pinch-hitting duties after tweaking his hip Friday night. And catcher Mike Zunino is on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised left ankle.
“We’re a little banged up right now,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose team had won nine of 10 games entering the series. “It happens. It’s part of what you go through in a long season like this.”
Senzatela faced the Mariners once as a rookie last season, a 5-0 loss at Safeco Field. He went five innings and allowed four runs, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
LeBlanc is 2-3 with a 6.53 ERA in nine career appearances (seven starts) against the Rockies.