Twins show how it’s done in efficient victory over Mariners
SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners are looking into the opposing dugout this weekend directly at what they would like to become.
The A.L. Central-leading Minnesota Twins beat them Saturday for a second straight game at Safeco Field, 1-0 on pitcher Nick Blackburn’s two-hitter over 8 2/3 innings.
M’s starter Doug Fister pitched well, too, allowing six hits and two walks in seven innings, but Denard Span’s RBI single in the third inning was enough to beat him.
It took only 2 hours, 13 minutes to play, which was plenty of time for Mariners catcher Josh Bard to build some serious frustration.
“It’s a fricking two-hour and (13)-minute game and it’s over before you know it,” Bard said. “As a club, we look at their side and see an organization and a group of guys that are together and do the little things.”
Bard didn’t mean that to trash his own team. He believes the Mariners have played better the past few weeks, with an improved attitude in the clubhouse.
But if there’s an example of what a struggling team may want to become, the Twins are a good team to try and emulate.
“We’re heading in that direction,” Bard said.
The M’s needed only one to step up offensively Saturday, and it didn’t happen against Blackburn.
The Twins right-hander limited them to Russell Branyan’s double and Jose Lopez’s single in the first inning, both with two outs, and a walk to Ryan Langerhans in the second before he was part of an inning-ending double play.
Blackburn (8-8), who’d lost seven of his previous eight decisions and came into the game with a 6.49 earned-run average, retired 21 straight before he walked Chone Figgins with two outs in the ninth.
With Branyan at the plate, the Twins brought in left-hander Brian Fuentes, who struck him out on three pitches.
The M’s have been shut out 12 times, but it was their first 1-0 loss.
LOB—Minnesota 6, Seattle 3. 2B—Tolbert (3), Hardy (15), Branyan (17). RBIs—Span (44). RLISP—Minnesota 2 (Mauer, Kubel); Seattle 1 (Kotchman). GIDP—Mauer, Kubel, Thome, J.Bard. DP—Minnesota 1 (Tolbert, Hardy, Cuddyer); Seattle 3 (Figgins, Jo.Wilson, Kotchman), (Figgins, Jo.Wilson, Kotchman), (Figgins, Jo.Wilson, Kotchman).
|Blackburn W, 8-8||82/3||2||0||0||2||6||98||6.02|
|Fuentes S, 24-28||1/3||0||0||0||0||1||4||3.49|
|Fister L, 4-10||7||6||1||1||2||6||107||3.73|
IR-S—Fuentes 1-0. IBB—off White (Mauer). T—2:13. A—29,892 (47,878).