Rosario, Twins outslug Mariners
By Dan Myers Sports Xchange MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes didn't have nearly his best stuff on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners. Fortunately for the right-hander, he didn't have to. The Twins provided Hughes wit...
By Dan Myers
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes didn’t have nearly his best stuff on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners.
Fortunately for the right-hander, he didn’t have to.
The Twins provided Hughes with more than enough offensive support in a 9-5 win over the Seattle Mariners at Target Field.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Twins, who control the second wild card spot above a number of teams in the American League.
Hughes allowed five runs on 10 hits over five innings but got the win anyway, thanks to three-hit nights from left fielder Eddie Rosario and center fielder Aaron Hicks.
Rosario was particularly good on Thursday, finishing only a single short of the cycle, and nearly getting it, lining out sharply in each of his final two at-bats of the evening.
Instead, Rosario had to settle for a three-RBI, three-runs scored evening. It was his three-run homer in the first that gave the Twins the early lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Minnesota kept tacking on from there, adding single runs in the second, third, fifth and seventh innings.
Hicks had a home run, a pair of singles and reached base on a walk. Second baseman Brian Dozier also hit his sixth leadoff homer of the season.
The Mariners scored first, on left fielder Seth Smith’s two-run, first-inning homer over the right field wall.
The lead was short-lived.
Minnesota clawed back for five runs in the bottom of the inning, getting a leadoff homer from Dozier, an RBI single by right fielder Torii Hunter and a three-run blast by Rosario.
For Dozier, the home run was his 22nd of the season, leaving him one shy of his total from last year. It was his sixth leadoff homer of the season.
The offensive fireworks were just beginning.
Hicks hit a solo home run in the second inning, giving Minnesota a 6-2 lead.
Each team scored once in the third. The Mariners got within three on an infield single by first baseman Mark Trumbo, and the Twins countered with an RBI single by shortstop Jorge Polanco.
Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson came back with a two-run shot to left-center field in the top of the fourth inning, pulling Seattle back within two.
Seattle starter J.A. Happ was pulled after just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed nine hits, seven runs (six earned) with a walk and two strikeouts.
A leadoff triple in the fifth by Rosario paid dividends when he scored on a fielder’s choice, pushing the Twins’ lead to 8-5.
Hughes was lifted after five innings and 84 pitches, having allowed five runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts.
Notes: The Mariners traded OF Dustin Ackley to the New York Yankees in exchange for prospects OF Ramon Flores and RHP Jose Ramirez. Flores and Ramirez will report to Triple-A Tacoma. ... Mariners 2B Robinson Cano missed his second consecutive game with an abdominal strain. Manager Lloyd McClendon said he hopes to have Cano back in the lineup as soon as Friday. ... Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe missed his second game in a row after the birth of his son. Plouffe, who is on the paternity list, could return by Saturday. Miguel Sano played third base Thursday. ... Twins INF Jorge Polanco got the start at short and batted ninth. It was his first start in the big leagues since June 10 and his third career major league start. ... The Mariners and Twins will continue their four-game series today at Target Field. Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker (7-7, 5.03 ERA) will face Minnesota LHP Tommy Milone (5-2, 3.58 ERA).