SEATTLE (AP) — Tony Wolters wasn’t even supposed to play Friday night against the Seattle Mariners.
Tom Murphy was in Colorado’s lineup to catch starting pitcher German Marquez, only to receive word that he needed to return home to Denver to be with his wife, Lindsay, who’s giving birth to their second child. Wolters found out around 4 p.m. that Murphy was out and he was in for the Rockies.
He responded by driving in three runs on a pair of triples, throwing out Dee Gordon trying to steal second base and calling a strong game for Marquez in a 7-1 victory.
“Tony had a really good game,” manager Bud Black said. “Two triples, was part of the offense, contributed there, caught German very well. Stuck some pitches that I think were probably borderline that we got some calls, which was great, which Tony does so well.”
Wolters becomes the first catcher in Rockies history to hit two triples in a game.
“I was happy I connected with the ball and did something for the team offensively,” Wolters said.
He also blocked a pitch in the dirt from Marquez and managed to flip the ball back to Marquez covering the plate to retire an advancing Gordon in the bottom of the sixth.
“It was a curveball (Marquez) threw 12 feet,” Wolters said jokingly, “but I think it hit off my stomach on the right side kind of weird and went (to the right) and I saw (Gordon) coming. (Marquez) is such an athlete, he took two steps and he was already at home plate. I threw the ball to him and he made a sweet tag.”
Marquez (7-8) limited the Mariners to one run and five hits with five strikeouts. He walked none and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning.
Charlie Blackmon homered off Felix Hernandez (8-7) to give Colorado a 1-0 lead in the first. Hernandez allowed hits to Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story before getting out of the early jam.
Raimel Tapia doubled over the right-field wall before Wolters’ first triple extended the Rockies’ advantage to 2-0. DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly scored Wolters.
Hernandez was driven from the game after five innings, having allowed three runs and eight hits with two strikeouts.
“Felix was having some struggles in the first inning,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He made a mistake to Blackmon with the home run. He just wasn’t sharp at all, but was still able to give us five innings and keep us somewhat in the ballgame.”
Colorado quickly piled on against Roenis Elias in the sixth. After Ian Desmond reached on an error and Tapia walked, Wolters tripled again to drive them in. A double by LeMahieu scored Wolters as the Rockies made it 6-0.
Denard Span hit a solo homer off Marquez in the sixth to get the Mariners on the scoreboard.
Gonzalez drove in Blackmon on a double in the eighth off Nick Rumbelow to extend Colorado’s lead to 7-1.
Mariners C Mike Marjama informed the team that he is retiring from baseball to take a position with the National Eating Disorders Association. Marjama, 28, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on April 20 after making the team’s opening day roster. He appeared in 10 games this season, batting .111 with three doubles, two walks and six strikeouts. Seattle now has three openings on its 40-man roster.
Mariners: RF Mitch Haniger took batting practice before the game and was expected to be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter two days after sustaining a bruised knee running into the outfield wall. He was scratched before Thursday’s series finale with the Los Angeles Angels. ... Gordon left after the play at the plate in the sixth. Servais said Gordon tweaked his hip. “I think he’ll be OK, but I’ll know more tomorrow morning.”
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (8-6) has worked at least six innings in 12 of his last 13 starts for the Rockies and has won four of his last five decisions. He has allowed two runs of fewer in each of his last four starts.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (8-2) has won eight of his last nine decisions and is coming off eight shutout innings against Kansas City, allowing just two hits and walking two while striking out 11.