Twins top Mariners 4-2
SEATTLE -- Minnesota designated hitter Kendrys Morales capped off a successful return trip to Safeco Field with the big hit, and the Twins closed out a four-game series against the Seattle Mariners with their third win in a row.
Morales, a former Mariner, drove in two runs with a two-out double in the fifth, leading Minnesota to a 4-2 win over his former team.
Twins starter Yohan Pino earned his first career win after allowing one run on seven hits over five innings. Pino (1-2) struck out four and walked two while throwing an even 100 pitches.
Glen Perkins earned his 22nd save of the season by throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
Minnesota (42-49) earned its third consecutive win, one shy of the team's longest streak of the season.
The Mariners (49-43) scored just five runs in the series, and they have just nine runs over their past seven games. Third baseman Kyle Seager drove in both of Seattle's runs Thursday night, hitting a solo home run in the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder James Jones each singled three times for Seattle, which had 12 hits and stranded 10 runners on base. Seager's home run was the only extra-base hit for the Mariners.
Seattle ended up using six pitchers, beginning with converted reliever Tom Wilhelmsen in his first career start. Wilhelmsen (1-3) allowed one hit and two runs (one earned) in 2 2/3 innings before manager Lloyd McClendon began his string of calls to the bullpen in the third.
Morales, who played with Seattle last season, delivered a big blow in the fifth to put the Twins ahead 4-1. After catcher Kurt Suzuki scored easily from second base on Morales' double, the Mariners appeared to have a chance to gun down Chris Parmelee at the plate on the play, but they failed to convert when the relay throw got by catcher Mike Zunino.
The double came off Seattle reliever Joe Beimel, the third Mariners pitcher.
Seager hit his 14th home run of the season, and his first since being named an All-Star earlier in the week, to lead off the second inning. His solo shot gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
A throwing error on Zunino allowed the Twins to take the lead in the top of the third. Center fielder Sam Fuld scored from second base after Zunino's throw to third on a stolen base sailed into left field, tying the score 1-1. Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier, who went from first to third on the throwing error, scored on a Suzuki sacrifice fly to put the Twins ahead 2-1.
The Mariners loaded the bases twice in the first five innings but came up empty both times.