Austin Gomber hadn’t pitched in a major league game since June 19, so Wednesday afternoon was a big test for the Rockies left-hander.
He passed with flying colors. His performance, and his first major inning of the offense, led Colorado to a 6–3 win over the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field.
The game took just 2 hours 35 minutes, an anomaly at Coors Field.
Gomber, the centerpiece of the Nolan Arenado trade with St. Louis in February, landed on the injured list on June 20 with a stiffness in his left forearm. The Rockies envision him as a mainstay in their rotation for years to come, so they wanted to make sure he had a strong hand.
Toss three wrong pitches and Gomber would have had an A-plus afternoon. Still, he pitched well enough to set the table for Colorado’s victory.
The lefty was skilled, needing only 71 pitches (42 strikes) to achieve his six innings. He scored three runs, just one run and conceded three hits, all single home runs. Kyle Seeger crushed the first pitch fastball from 439 feet in the center to advance to the second, Louis Torrens lined up a 2-2 fastball in the left field bleachers to open the fifth, and Mitch Hanniger in the sixth. Hits an out homer, tossing a 1-0 fastball to the left.
Before moving to IL, Gomber was one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. In his last eight starts, he was 4–1 with a 1.62 ERA, scoring 42 runs and only three runs.
Colorado ambushed Seattle right-hander Kenan Middleton in the first innings, scoring five runs. Middleton was making his first major league debut after appearing in 128 games as a reliever.
Starting with Raimel Tapia’s leadoff bloop single to left, the Rockies hit five hits in the innings. Single drive from Charlie Blackmon into Tapia, CJ Krone collected an RBI with a base-loaded walk, and catcher Dom Nunez hit a three-run double from the fence in right-center field.
Colorado produced a run in the fourth, using back-to-back walks by Sam Hilliard and Nunez, a sacrificial bunt by Gomber and a sacrificial fly by Tapia.
The Rockies, who improved 33-20 at home, closed on Thursday before opening a 10-game West Coast road trip against the Dodgers on Friday. 9-34 at The Rockies Road.