EARLY RUNS HOLD UP AS M’S BOUNCE BACK FROM RECORD-SETTING LOSS
What happened: Mitch Haniger and Mike Zunino both homered and the Seattle Mariners got back in the win column, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-4 on Wednesday at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Haniger hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Zunino crushed a three-run bomb in the third.
Ben Gamel went 3 for 5 with two runs and and a spectacular catch in the eighth inning, crashing hard into the side wall in left field. Robinson Cano had three hits, while Danny Valencia and Jarrod Dyson added two apiece.
Starter Sam Gaviglio was serviceable, then gave up a couple of homers in the sixth once he ran out of gas. In total he gave up four runs on five hits – including three home runs – and no walks with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Twins starter Ervin Santana wasn’t very good either, giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk with five strikeouts in five innings. Santana also hit two batters – the two that hit home runs off him, prompting bench warnings by the umps.
- Leadoff hitter Ben Gamel legged out an infield single in the first and Mitch Haniger pounded one out to left for his fifth of the season and an early two-run lead.
- M’s loaded the bases with two down in the second but Robinson Cano grounded sharply to short to end the threat.
- With two down in the third, the M’s did rally. Danny Valencia singled to right and Jarrod Dyson followed with a soft liner to center. Mike Zunino then crushed a hanging slider off the facing of the upper deck for a three-run shot and 5-0 lead.
- In the fifth, Santana plunked Zunino in his next at-bat, after hitting Haniger in the fourth. Home plate umpire Greg Gibson warned both benches in an effort to curb any further instigation or retaliation.
- Gaviglio gave up a couple of gopher balls in the fifth. With one down, Eduardo Escobar vaporized a ball to the concourse behind the stands in straight right field. Then with two down, Byron Buxton – who entered play hitting .209 – put one in the left-center bullpens to make it 5-2.
- Gamel led off the sixth reaching on an error. With one down Cano singled, then Nelson Cruz had a fastball graze his elbow pad, the third M’s hitter to get hit. Kyle Seager flied out by Valencia bounced one through the hole to plate Gamel.
- In the bottom half with one down, Joe Mauer single and Miguel Sano smacked a two-run shot to make it 6-4, ending Gaviglio’s night.
- Gamel made a spectacular catch in the eighth, jumping and crashing – hard – into the wall along the left-field line to catch Mauer’s foul fly ball.
- The Twins put the winning run tot he plate in the person of Brian Dozier in the ninth inning, but Edwin Diaz got him to fly to center to end the game for his 11th save of the season.
It was good for the Mariners to bounce back like this after taking an embarrassing loss the previous night. Zunino continues his hot hitting – he now has 19 RBIs in June and it’s not even half-over. He entered the month with four.
Tweet of the Day
Players of the Game
Hero: Mike Zunino. One hit, but it was a big one. Encouraging to see him continue to make good contact.
Goat: Nelson Cruz. 0 for 4, two Ks, three LOB.
Hisashi Iwakuma made his first rehab outing for High-A Modesto. In four innings he allowed no runs on one hit and no walks with four strikeouts. He made 43 pitches, 33 for strikes. According to reports, he sat 86-88 with his fastball.
The Seattle Mariners (33-34) at the Minnesota Twins (33-29) on Thursday at 10:10 a.m. at Target Field in Minneapolis. LHP Ariel Miranda (6-2, 3.67) vs. RHP Jose Berrios (5-1, 2.84)
What others are saying (and writing)
The M's scored enough runs for win. But the Twins made a game of it after Cano and Zunino couldn't cash in some early opportunities. No matter, the bullpen was pretty good in the late innings. … There was another roster move with the pen and they probably won't be stopping. … Just leave Safeco as Safeco, no matter the money. … The draft is over and the organization is happy. There actually might be good reason for the optimism.
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