SEATTLE — Even when the Colorado Rockies were scoring they had trouble getting hits Saturday night.
Colorado went down in order the first three innings against Seattle left-hander Roenis Elias (5-8), and the Rockies scored both their runs in the sixth without getting a hit. An error by Elias and two walks loaded the bases with no outs, and DJ LeMahieu's fielder's choice and Arenado's sacrifice fly each drove in a run, giving Colorado two runs and a total of one hit through the first six innings. The Rockies finished with four hits in the game.
"We had a hard time making contact early," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Their lefty was electric early on."
Elias was pulled during that sixth inning, having allowed two unearned runs and one hit while striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings.
Colorado starter Yohan Flande (3-3) had an even shorter night, leaving the game after the Mariners scored twice in the fourth inning.
The first run came on Montero's solo homer, his third of the season. The second run started when Nolan Arenado's throwing error allowed Shawn O'Malley to reach third base with one out, and he scored on a squeeze bunt by John Hicks to give Seattle a 4-0 lead.
Flande's 3 2/3 innings pitched marked his shortest start of the season. He gave up four runs and six hits.
"At times he was just missing, and those mistakes got hit," said Colorado catcher Tom Murphy, who made his major league debut Saturday.
Cruz's two-run homer in the seventh was his 41st, tying Baltimore's Chris Davis for the major league lead. He also had a run-scoring single in the third inning, finishing 2 for 4 with three RBIs.
Cano's deep homer to right in the second inning opened the scoring and also set a milestone. It was the 50th extra-base hit of the season for Cano, who is one of five players to have least 50 extra-base hits in each of his first 11 seasons.
Murphy went hitless in his first major league game. He started at catcher for the Rockies a day after being called up to replace Nick Hundley, who was placed on the 60-day DL with a cervical strain. "It's something I'll never forget, that's for sure," he said.
The Rockies are now 6-26 when facing a left-handed starter, worst in the majors. "The level of our struggles against left-handers is a little perplexing," Weiss said before Saturday's game. "It's been a challenge for us. We haven't hit them, all kinds. Power guys, crafty guys, they've all been a struggle for us." Colorado is expected to face left-handed starters in each of its next three games.
Rockies: SS Jose Reyes was held out of the lineup for the second straight game with a sore Achilles. "He is better," Weiss said. "I felt like I wanted to give him another day though, because (Friday) he was really sore."
Mariners: Gutierrez started in left field, his first start since leaving the game on Sept. 4 with a strained right groin. ... Cruz will be limited to designated hitter duties while recovering from a strained right quad. "He's still nursing it," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I would not anticipate him being in the outfield through this homestand."
Rockies: RHP Kyle Kendrick (5-12, 6.25 ERA) will start the series finale Sunday, his third start since coming off the disabled list (right shoulder). It will be Kendrick's first career appearance against the Mariners.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (3-3, 3.70) will make his first start Sunday since May 28. Paxton was placed on the disabled list the next day with a strained left middle finger. McClendon said Paxton's finger is fully healed. "He'll go until he can't go anymore," McClendon said.