Jon Gray returns to big leagues with strong start against the Mariners

Jul 14, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray (55) pitches during the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Gray was brilliant in his return to the major leagues Saturday night, leading the Colorado Rockies (50-45) to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners (58-38). Gray went 7.1 innings, giving up five hits, one run, one walk and struck out six in a strong outing for the the 26 year-old starter. 

In the victory, Gray delivered a healthy mix of breaking balls and showed strong command of his fastball which sat around 95 MPH all night. By being able to mix up his pitches, Gray consistently had the Seattle hitters feeling uneasy in the batter’s box.

Gray did run into some traffic in the eighth inning before coming out of the game to a standing ovation from the more than 30,000 fans that packed into Coors Field Saturday night, but Adam Ottavino quickly took care of the final two outs to back up his starting pitcher. 

Following another strong performance from Ottavino, Wade Davis (27) closed out things in the ninth inning, to finish an extremely strong night of pitching for the Rockies as a whole.

Along with another quality start from the Rockies rotation, manager Bud Black got a productive night at the plate from his lineup. The Rockies totaled ten hits in the victory, including four extra-base hits, three of which produced runs. 

Carlos Gonzalez picked up his 11th home run of the season Saturday, as the veteran outfielder continues to terrorize left-handed pitchers. Gonzalez has five hits in last 14 at-bats against left-handed pitchers, three of which went over the wall for home runs.

After defeating the Mariners in the second game of a three-game series Saturday night, the Rockies will look to close out the sweep on Sunday. Tyler Anderson will take the hill for the Rockies in the final game before the All-Star break. In his last three starts, Anderson is 2-0 with 0.41 ERA and 25 strikeouts.

Side note: After defeating Seattle Saturday night, the Rockies have five consecutive series wins over teams that are playing above .500 for the first time in franchise history.

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