Rockies, Mariners tangle in interleague affair

Recent first-round pick Alex White faces the Seattle Mariners for the first time in his brief big-league career tonight when the Colorado Rockies begin a three-game interleague series at Coors Field.

White, the 15th overall pick of the 2009 draft by the Cleveland Indians, made three starts in the American League last season before heading to the Rockies in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the American League.

He finished the season with a 2-4 mark in seven starts with Colorado and has opened 2012 with two losses in two starts since an early May call-up from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was 1-3 with a 2.92 earned run average.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound North Carolina native was an 11-5 loser to the Dodgers in Los Angeles in his most recent start after allowing six runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

In 10 2/3 big-league innings this month, he's allowed 11 hits and eight runs.

Seattle counters with right-handed veteran Kevin Millwood, who debuted in the majors with the Atlanta Braves the year White turned nine.

He's gone on to make 422 starts in 430 appearances with six more teams since, including a nine-start stint with the Rockies last season in which he was 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA across 54 1/3 innings.

He signed a one-year deal with the Mariners worth $1 million on Jan. 24 and immediately lost his first four decisions in his initial six starts before breaking through with a 6-2 defeat of the New York Yankees on May 13.

In that start, his fourth on the road this spring, he gave up a single run on three hits with six strikeouts in seven innings.

The Mariners are 2-5 in Millwood's seven starts this year and he is 8-3 lifetime against the Rockies with a 3.30 ERA in 87 1/3 innings.

On Thursday in Cleveland, Carlos Santana singled home the winning run in bottom of the 11th inning, and the Indians rallied past the Mariners, 6-5, in the finale of a two-game set at Progressive Field.

The Mariners had broken a 4-4 tie in the top of the 11th against Joe Smith (4-1) when Michael Saunders doubled home Dustin Ackley.

But Brandon League's (0-3) poor control sparked a another comeback for the Indians, who had erased a 4-1 deficit on Jose Lopez's two-out, three-run homer in the eighth.

League walked two of the first three batters he faced, and an Asdrubal Cabrera single plated Lopez with the tying run. After League walked pinch-hitter Aaron Cunningham to load the bases, Santana won the game with a base hit to center field.

"My control was just absolutely unacceptable today," League said. "I don't remember the last time I walked three guys in 1/3 of an inning."

In Colorado, Justin Upton's two-run homer in the ninth inning lifted the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Rockies, 9-7, in the final game of a brief two- game series.

Upton, who was a career 0-for-6 with five strikeouts against Rafael Betancourt prior to his home run, fell behind 1-2 with two outs. But Betancourt's cutter caught just enough of the plate and Upton drove the ball deep into the seats in right-center.

Gerrardo Parra reached two hitters earlier with a double.

J.J. Putz loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but was able to strike out Alex White before getting Ramon Hernandez to ground into a game-ending double play.

Brad Ziegler (2-1) earned the win after recording the final out of the eighth.

The D-backs used a four-run eighth to take a 7-4 lead. Parra walked, moved to second on a wild pitch then scored when Willie Bloomquist singled to right. Bloomquist then stole second before scoring when Jason Kubel also singled to right to put Arizona up 5-4.

Esmil Rodgers entered the game in relief for Colorado and immediately gave up a pair RBI singles to Paul Goldschmidt and Ryan Roberts.

But the Rockies answered with three runs in the eighth to tie the game. David Hernandez, who entered in relief, loaded the bases with two outs. Hernandez then walked in a run before pinch-hitter Michael Cuddyer reached on an error, roping a grounder that hopped off Roberts' glove and over his shoulder, allowing another run to score.

Hernandez walked Marco Scutaro to plate the Rockies' third run of the inning before Ziegler was brought in and recorded the final out courtesy of Upton's sliding catch in right.

The Mariners are 13-12 in 25 interleague meetings with Colorado, including a 4-7 mark at Coors Field.