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Rockies fail to deliver in clutch against Mariners

Associated Press Published: May 20, 2012

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies were swept for the second time at home and the third time overall this season. Going 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position certainly doesn't help.

Neither did the fact that Todd Helton struck out swinging on a 3-2 count with runners on second and third to end the game.

"On a fastball right down the middle," said Helton. "We're not playing well. You are going to put more pressure on yourself to do what you have to do to win some games."

Helton fanned to strand two other runners in the fifth inning. Catcher Wilin Rosario struck out twice and lined out softly leaving three runners in scoring position in a 0-for-4 game.

"We are in a rut," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "We have to get three or four guys, significant guys, going offensively. That's not what's taking place right now. Some of that is happening from our Nos. 4, 5 and 6 hitters, a very significant area of the lineup."

Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak hit back-to-back home runs, and Blake Beavan tied a season-high with seven strikeouts for the Mariners. Mike Carp also homered and Dustin Ackley had two hits.

Carlos Gonzalez homered among his three hits and Dexter Fowler also went deep for Colorado, which has lost four straight overall and eight of 10 at home in May.

"It's hard to see all the guys' struggles because it's never been that way," said Gonzalez. "You are going to have a couple of guys step up."

The Mariners were 8-4 on the road after sweeping a series in Detroit last month before losing 12 of their previous 13 away from home. Coors Field proved to be a cure for their struggles, 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 Fowler, his fifth. Eric Young and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi followed with singles, and 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 then struck out Helton to end the game.

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