3/16/2013 7:14 P.M. ET
Pomeranz solid through four in loss to Mariners
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Switch-hitting Kendrys Morales hit his third home run of the spring -- his first from the right side -- to spearhead a three-run fifth inning, and pitcher Erasmo Ramirez gave up two runs in six frames as the Mariners beat the Rockies, 5-2, on Saturday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
The Mariners also benefited from Mike Jacobs' two-out, two-strike solo homer in the seventh off Rockies reliever Matt Belisle. The Mariners have hit 41 homers in Cactus League play.
Rockies lefty starter Drew Pomeranz, trying to lock up the fifth rotation spot, pitched well until the fifth, giving up three runs on three hits, including Jesus Montero's double and Carlos Peguero's single, both of which drove in a run. The inning also included Pomeranz's only walk, to Michael Morse, who ended up scoring.
"It got away from him some the fifth inning, but I thought he did some good things out there," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Pomeranz. "I thought he was solid."
In all, Pomeranz allowed four runs on nine hits and struck out five. Pomeranz was especially impressive in the third. After surrendering a leadoff double to Kyle Seager, he eventually escaped without a run scoring, inducing a double-play ground ball from Peguero. Pomeranz had shown improvement in his last two starts, but Saturday left his Cactus league ERA at 5.54.
"I just made a bad pitch to Morales -- it was a good pitch, just the wrong time to throw that pitch," Pomeranz said.
Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez gave up eight hits, struck out four and forced nine ground-ball outs. He has a 1.50 Cactus League ERA in four appearances. The Rockies' Eric Young Jr. doubled to begin the bottom of the first and eventually scored on Wilin Rosario's sacrifice fly, but Ramirez avoided trouble for most of the rest of his outing.
The Rockies' Charlie Blackmon, in his first Cactus League action since March 1, returned from an infection in his right knee to double twice against Ramirez. Reid Brignac knocked an RBI double off Ramirez in the sixth inning. The Rockies' Jordan Pacheco went 2-for-3 to lift his Cactus League batting average to .407.
Up next for Rockies: On Sunday, the Rockies will meet the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium at a special time: 4:15 p.m. MT. Righty Jhoulys Chacin is scheduled to start. Sunday is Chacin's first time pitching in a Cactus League game since he left the Rockies to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. He is a logical candidate for the Opening Day start. Right-hander Tyler Chatwood, who will follow Chacin, is trying to earn the fifth spot in the rotation. Watch the game live on MLB.TV.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.