Montero, Smoak homer as Mariners sweep Rockies

Associated Press Modified: May 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm •  Published: May 20, 2012
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DENVER (AP) — The Seattle Mariners found a cure for their road woes — a weekend trip to Coors Field.

Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak hit back-to-back home runs, Blake Beavan tied a season-high with seven strikeouts and the Mariners survived a ninth-inning rally to beat the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

The Mariners were 8-4 on the road after sweeping a series in Detroit last month before losing 12 of their last 13 away from home. They stumbled into Denver having gone 1-9 on the road in May but are heading home with momentum.

"It's definitely a good way to end the road trip," Kyle Seager said. "We definitely had some ups and downs along the way but it's good to end on a high note."

Coors Field proved to be an oasis, but not without a tense ninth inning.

Leading 6-2, closer Brandon League came on and gave up a one-out, pinch-hit homer to Dexter Fowler, his fifth. Eric Young and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi followed with singles, and Carlos Gonzalez knocked in a run with a single to center.

Troy Tulowitzki hit a potential double-play ball to third, but Smoak bobbled the relay at first to keep the inning alive. League struck out Todd Helton with a 96-mph fastball to end the game.

"A fastball right down the middle," Helton said. "That was the only pitch I saw all day. I was waiting for a sound and never (heard it)."

League, who has two blown saves in his last three chances, said he felt good Sunday.

"Besides the home run and the first pitch to Gonzalez I thought my ball was doing what it supposed to do," he said. "Those aren't the results you're looking for but I felt better."

Mike Carp also homered and Dustin Ackley had two hits for the Mariners.

Gonzalez homered among his three hits to go with Fowler's homer but it wasn't enough for Colorado, which has lost four straight overall and 8 of 10 at home in May.

"We are in a helluva rut right now," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We are going to have to dig our ourselves out. Nobody likes it. It's no fun to go through it. There is no finger pointing going on."

The Rockies can point to Seattle's pitching as a source of their troubles. Kevin Millwood no-hit them for 6 2-3 innings before setting for a two-hit shutout Friday. Jason Vargas threw seven strong innings in Saturday's 10-3 win.

Beavan (2-4) followed those starts with five-plus innings of two-run ball. He gave two runs and seven hits while walking one to get his first win since April 15.

Beavan's only mistakes were a two-out solo homer to Gonzalez and a two-out RBI single by Jordan Pacheco. He left after giving up a leadoff double to Michael Cuddyer in the sixth, but righty Shawn Kelley got Wilin Rosario to line out and struck out Pacheco and pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin.

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