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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Twins get the drop on Mariners



 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins can’t seem to win in nine innings these days.

But as long as they win, they’ll take it.

Shannon Stewart knocked the ball out of catcher Dan Wilson’s glove to score from second base in the 11th inning Tuesday night, giving the Twins a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Stewart scored on Doug Mientkiewicz’s bloop single to center off Ron Villone (3-1). Randy Winn’s throw had Stewart beat, but it short-hopped Wilson at the plate.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Stewart collided with Wilson and knocked the ball loose as he leaped over him to touch the plate.

“I was going to run into him,” Stewart said. “Then I just jumped over him.”

Stewart banged his knee on the dirt when he came down. He was icing his knee in the clubhouse.

Even with the short hop, Wilson felt he should’ve had Stewart.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’ve got to make a play.”

Aaron Fultz (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Minnesota has gone into extra innings seven times this year, including four of its last seven games. The Twins are 4-3 overall in extra innings this year and 3-0 at home in extra innings.

“I can’t take it anymore,” Mientkiewicz said. “I’d like to get home before midnight some night.”

Said Michael Ryan: “It’s like, ‘Here we go again.’ “

Luis Rivas, who entered with four hits in his previous 40 at-bats, made it 6-all in the eighth with an RBI single that scored pinch-runner Michael Ryan and capped a four-run rally. Rivas went 3 for 5 with a single, double and triple.

The loss dropped the Mariners to 12-20 — worst in the A.L. West in third-worst in the A.L.

Seattle went ahead 6-2 with four runs in the eighth, but reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa couldn’t hold the lead. Hasegawa was at a loss for words to describe his horrible outing.

“Of course it’s frustrating,” he said. “But I was calm on the mound.”

Winn and Wilson each had three hits and Scott Spiezio drove in three runs for the Mariners, who got a season-high seven innings from Joel Pineiro. Every Mariners starter had at least one hit.

Pineiro, a 16-game winner last year, worked a season-high seven innings, allowing six hits, two runs and a walk and lowering his ERA to 6.75.

“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Pineiro said. “But I think it was a big turnaround, especially for myself, the way I’ve been pitching lately. Hopefully, I can take this on to my next one.”

Undefeated Twins starter Carlos Silva frustrated the Mariners through seven innings, but Seattle broke a 2-all tie against struggling reliever J.C. Romero in the eighth.

John Olerud led off the inning with a single and pinch-runner Quinton McCracken advanced on Rich Aurilia’s sacrifice. McCracken took third on Wilson’s single and scored on Winn’s single.

Two batters later, Spiezio tripled off Joe Roa to score Winn and Ichiro Suzuki and give Seattle a 6-2 lead.

But Hasegawa wasted away Pineiro’s performance, allowing two singles and two walks against his only four batters. He was pulled for Mike Myers after walking Torii Hunter with the bases loaded.

Myers’ first and only pitch hit Jones in the leg, scoring Mientkiewicz, and Michael Cuddyer came around on Lew Ford’s fly ball to make it 6-5. Two batters later, Rivas tied the game with his third hit of the night.

In his last eight appearances, Romero is 1-1 with 12 earned runs and a 12.00 ERA in nine innings.

Manager Ron Gardenhire stayed supportive of Romero.

“I have all the confidence in the world in this guy,” he said. “He’s going to be huge for us.”

Romero’s struggles spoiled another strong outing by Silva, who allowed two runs and 11 hits — a career-high as a starter — in seven innings.

Hunter’s one-out homer in the sixth tied the score at 2. Silva has yet to lose in eight career starts.

Notes

Silva’s 11 hits tied Brad Radke for most hits given up by a Twins starter this season. … Twins 3B Corey Koskie left after the second inning with a strained sternum. He’s day to day. … Mariners RHP Rafael Soriano was placed on the 15-man DL because of a sprained elbow ligament. Seattle recalled INF Ramon Santiago from Triple-A Tacoma.

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