SEATTLE — Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer against his former team, rookie starter Bailey Ober struck out six and the Minnesota Twins beat the Seattle Mariners 7-2 on Wednesday night.
Cruz’s second-deck shot to left field in the fifth inning made it 6-0 and helped snap the Twins’ three-game losing streak. It was his 431st career home run, moving him into a tie with Lou Gehrig at 49th on the career list. Ryan Jeffers followed with a solo homer two batters later.
Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson left after scoring in the first inning with right calf tenderness — he’s dealt with recurring calf issues the past two seasons. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons was also injured, leaving after the fourth with a left ankle sprain. The team said both are day to day.
Jorge Polanco led off the game with a double against Mariners starter Justus Sheffield (5-6) and had three hits and three runs by the fifth inning, all against the left-hander.
Ober, a 6-foot-9 right-hander who is on a pitch limit because he did not play last season as a minor leaguer, gave up one hit over four innings with no walks, helping snap Seattle’s three-game winning streak. He threw 63 pitches.
Reliever Caleb Thielbar (1-0) won on the day he returned to the bullpen from the 10-day injured list. Twins pitchers struck out the Mariners 11 times.
Shed Long Jr. and Ty France had RBI singles for Seattle.
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