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Seattle at Minnesota

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Seattle (71-53)0000002204100
Minnesota (63-63) «71000000x8140

Twins jump on M's Batista with seven-run first, cruise to victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The rare chance to relax came early for Carlos Silva and the Twins. Minutes into Wednesday's matinee against Seattle, their ragged offense broke loose for a seven-run first inning fueled by Michael Cuddyer's grand slam.

"I'm going to sound like a broken record again," Cuddyer said, smiling. "Hopefully, we can sustain this, and hopefully we can carry it into the next series and be able to put some runs together to help our pitching staff out."

Cuddyer's big hit against Miguel Batista sent Minnesota toward an 8-4 victory that ended the Mariners' winning streak at five.

Silva (10-12) brought the second-worst run support among AL starters into the game, but he cruised behind the big lead and completed seven innings for his first victory this month. Silva gave up two runs and eight hits, hitting one batter with a pitch and striking out three.

Even two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana has told Silva, his best friend on the team, that it's difficult to loosen up when the lineup isn't providing much help.

"When it's always 1-1, 1-0, you always want to make perfect pitches," Silva said. "You don't want to make mistakes."

Batista (13-9) insisted he felt fine and threw most of his pitches to the right places, but this one was essentially over before he even recorded two outs.

"That wasn't the Batista we're used to seeing," Mariners manager John McLaren said.

The Twins, who have been shut out a major league-high 12 times and managed only nine runs on the first five games of this homestand, sent 11 batters to the plate against Batista in the first.

After Cuddyer's homer, his 13th this season, Garrett Jones added an RBI single, Nick Punto had a sacrifice fly and Alexi Casilla drove in one more with a triple.

Jason Kubel, who went 3-for-4, hit an RBI single in the second to cap Batista's shortest start this year. After allowing eight runs, nine hits and one walk in two innings, Batista lobbied to stay in the game and avoid some extra work for the bullpen -- Seattle doesn't have a day off until Sept. 6 -- but McLaren had seen enough.

"Sometimes you have to recognize when you don't have it and save yourself for the next series," said Batista, who lost for only the second time in his last eight starts.

Ben Broussard broke up Silva's shutout by going deep with one out in the seventh, giving the Mariners seven homers in the three-game series. Kubel nearly caught it with a fully extended leap over the left-field wall, and the fans sitting in the nearby seats groaned loudly when they saw the ball glance off his glove. Kubel sat glumly on the warning track and slapped his hand in frustration.

"I'm just glad I was able to sneak one in there," said Broussard, who had only one at-bat over the last 11 games. Seattle is 17-7 since ending a seven-game losing streak on July 27, the best mark in the majors during that span, and McLaren has tried to keep his streaking lineup in tact.

Despite this setback, the Mariners -- who woke up with a 2½-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card race -- began a daunting stretch in strong fashion. They travel to Texas for a four-game series in the heat against the Rangers, who swept them in Arlington the last time.

"It's behind us. We're playing really well," said Raul Ibanez, whose sacrifice fly against Pat Neshek cut the lead to 8-4 in the eighth.

Jose Guillen and Yuniesky Betancourt each hit RBI triples for Seattle.

The Twins, who moved back to the .500 mark, began the day 6½ games behind the first-place Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.

"We cannot say, 'Let's win the series,'" Silva said. "No, let's sweep the series. You know what I mean? That's like how tough it's getting."

Silva has done his part, after an awful 2006 and a shaky spring training left most people surprised to see him in the rotation.

"He took a lot of heat. ... We all did: 'Carlos can't do this and can't do that,'" manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But he's a major league pitcher. He's got a good track record of getting people out."

Notes

  • Twins catcher Joe Mauer had the day off with a bruised ankle, but was available to play. Jason Tyner came in for center fielder Torii Hunter, who had a sore shoulder but said he'd be in the lineup on Thursday.
  • Rookie Ryan Rowland-Smith, selected by Minnesota in the winter meeting draft but returned to Seattle when he didn't make the roster in 2005, turned in a career-high four hitless innings in relief of Batista. The Australian lefty struck out six with two walks.
  • Reigning AL MVP Justin Morneau's career-long home run drought reached 27 games and 103 at-bats. He was still tied for second in the league with 28 homers when the day began.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Goodbye, baseball! Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer watches the flight of his first-inning grand slam.  (AP)
Goodbye, baseball! Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer watches the flight of his first-inning grand slam. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

C. Silva
IP 7.0
H 8
ER 2
BB 0
K 3
Seattle

J. Guillen
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF3020000 .349
    Adam Jones, CF1000001 .250
Adrian Beltre, 3B4120002 .279
Jose Guillen, RF4121011 .292
Raul Ibanez, LF3001001 .277
Richie Sexson, 1B4000022 .211
Ben Broussard, DH4111010 .288
Kenji Johjima, C3000000 .277
Willie Bloomquist, 2B4120001 .298
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4011001 .295
Totals34410404  
Batting
2B - Adrian Beltre (33, Neshek)
3B - Jose Guillen (2, Neshek), Yuniesky Betancourt (2, Silva)
HR - Ben Broussard (7, Silva)
SF - Raul Ibanez (6)
RBI - Jose Guillen (78), Raul Ibanez (83), Ben Broussard (25), Yuniesky Betancourt (51)
2-OUT RBI - Yuniesky Betancourt (17)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (36, 2nd base off Silva/Redmond)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jose Guillen 1
DP - Bloomquist-Betancourt-Sexson
Seattle Mariners
Miguel Batista (L,13-9) 2988111 4.57
Ryan Rowland-Smith 4000260 3.47
John Parrish 2500000 5.74
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Batista 47-30, Ryan Rowland-Smith 57-35, John Parrish 38-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Batista 2-3, Ryan Rowland-Smith 1-4, John Parrish 1-4
Batters Faced - Miguel Batista 16, Ryan Rowland-Smith 13, John Parrish 10
Minnesota Twins
Alexi Casilla, 2B5011011 .242
Tommy Watkins, 3B5120011 .357
    Jason Bartlett, SS0000000 .266
Torii Hunter, CF4220000 .299
    Jason Tyner, CF1010001 .282
Justin Morneau, 1B3110111 .287
Michael Cuddyer, RF4114012 .276
Jason Kubel, LF4131010 .255
Mike Redmond, C3120101 .289
Garrett Jones, DH4111024 .143
Nick Punto, SS-3B2001100 .199
Totals35814837  
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter (35, Batista), Jason Tyner (11, Parrish)
3B - Alexi Casilla (1, Batista)
HR - Michael Cuddyer (13, Batista)
SF - Nick Punto (2)
RBI - Alexi Casilla (8), Michael Cuddyer 4 (71), Jason Kubel (45), Garrett Jones (1), Nick Punto (21)
2-OUT RBI - Alexi Casilla (6), Jason Kubel (12)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Punto-Casilla-Morneau, Punto-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Silva (W,10-12) 7822031 4.10
Pat Neshek 1222010 2.58
Joe Nathan 1000000 1.77
HBP - Johjima (by Carlos Silva)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 96-72, Pat Neshek 9-8, Joe Nathan 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 6-10, Joe Nathan 1-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 28, Pat Neshek 5, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29881
Game Time - 2:16
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Chris Guccione