Marty Cordova hit a leadoff home run in the 12th inning Thursday night and the Minnesota Twins went on to beat the Seattle Mariners 9-7.
The Mariners made it 7-all in the 10th on Joey Cora’s RBI single with two outs off Rick Aguilera.
But Cordova opened the 12th against Norm Charlton (2-7) with the Twins’ fourth homer of the game. Minnesota got another run in the inning when Matt Lawton singled and scored on Charlton’s throwing error on a bunt by Pat Meares.
Cordova hit his seventh home run of the season. He also connected Wednesday night in an 8-7 loss at the Kingdome.
Aguilera (4-2) got the victory despite his sixth blown save in 23 chances. He took over with a 7-6 lead in the 10th, but Dan Wilson opened with a double and scored on Cora’s single.
Aguilera pitched two innings and struck out five. He was the loser a night earlier when he gave up two runs in the ninth.
Eddie Guardado got the final three outs for his first save.
Chuck Knoblauch homered with one out in the 10th, putting Minnesota ahead 7-6. Knoblauch, who tripled earlier, connected against Bob Wells.
Rich Becker hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs for Minnesota. Scott Stahoviak also homered for the Twins.
Alex Rodriguez hit a leadoff homer in the Seattle seventh against Greg Swindell, tying it at 6. The Mariners had seven doubles among their 17 hits, one short of their season high.
Becker gave the Twins a 6-4 lead with a homer in the fifth, one inning after Stahoviak hit a two-run shot off Edwin Hurtado.
Ken Griffey Jr. doubled and drove in two runs for the Mariners.
Minnesota’s Bob Tewksbury failed for the fourth time to get his 100th career victory. He went 4-1/3 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits.
Hurtado, recalled Thursday from Triple-A Tacoma after pitching consecutive shutouts, lasted 4-1/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits.
Hurtado became the ninth starting pitcher for the Mariners this season. They have used 17 pitchers. To make room for him the Mariners out-righted right-handed reliever Josias Manzanillo to Tacoma. Manzanillo, who was 1-0 with a 5.40 earned-run average in 16 games with Seattle, likely won’t report to Class AAA though and will elect to become a free agent instead. … Griffey’s double in the fourth was his first hit after the All-Star break at the Kingdome. He was 0 for 15 in Seattle before the hit. He has not hit a home run in 35 at-bats… . Charlton had his head shaved on the fourth Buhner Buzz Cut Night, a promotion in which fans have their heads shaved in honor of Seattle’s right fielder, Jay Buhner. A total of 3,436 fans, including 46 women, had their heads shaved.
Stadium moves forward
The final piles are being driven for the Mariners’ new $414 million stadium across the street from the Kingdome in downtown Seattle.
“We’re looking good,” executive director Ken Johnsen of the Public Facilities District said Thursday after a tour of the site. “We’re right where we want to be.”
If all goes as scheduled the Mariners will move into their new home in July 1999.
The last 50 of 1,400 piles are being driven 80 to 90 feet into the ground before the stadium begins to go vertical.
“I’ll bet the neighbors will be happy when this noise stops,” Johnsen said with a smile.
About 200 workers were at the site Thursday. By next spring, that total will be 1,000.
Ken Griffey Jr., the top vote-getter for last week’s All-Star game in Cleveland, has been involved in giving Johnsen and facilities district officials his input into construction of the new stadium.
Former all-stars Jay Buhner and Dan Wilson have toured the site.
The Mariners have opted to occupy the first-base dugout of their new ballpark.
Griffey, Seattle’s center fielder and a left-handed hitter, and Buhner, who works next to him in right field and hits right-handed, have had a friendly argument about one the ballpark’s dimensions; 326 feet down the right-field foul line.
“He (Griffey) wanted to bring right field in and Buhner said, ‘No way,”’ Johnsen said.
Johnsen said the new stadium looked like it would come in on budget. The facilities district was helped this month when the low bid to build a retractable roof for the new stadium was $39 million, $3.5 million less than the architects estimated.
xxxx ON DECK Tonight: Randy Johnson (12-2, 2.22) pitches tonight against Kansas City’s Ricky Bones (0-1, 4.82) as the Mariners open a three-game series against the Royals in the Kingdome. The game starts at 7:05 and will not be televised.
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