Seattle at Minnesota

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Seattle (15-16)0003200106102
Minnesota (15-16) «20223000x980

Mauer, Morneau go back-to-back to send M's to sixth straight loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer doesn't hit many home runs -- just 47 since he broke into the big leagues in 2004.

So when he went deep in consecutive games for the first time since 2005, Mauer could only laugh when his bigger, badder buddy -- Justin Morneau -- did the same thing right behind him just to show it's not as hard as Mauer sometimes makes it look.

Mauer and Morneau hit back-to-back homers for the second straight night and Minnesota roughed up Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in a 9-6 victory over the Mariners on Saturday.

 Gardenhire falls ill during game

"I hit a home run, it doesn't happen a whole lot," Mauer said with a wide grin. "Then he's got to go back and show everybody that he can do it too. I always give him a hard time, saying, 'Hey, look at me, I can do it too.' It's all in fun."

Mauer had two hits and three RBI and Michael Cuddyer added a 427-foot, three-run homer off Sean White in the fifth inning. Joe Nathan picked up his fifth save in six chances.

Hernandez (4-2) gave up six runs -- five earned -- and six hits in four innings for the Mariners, who have lost six in a row.

After they both went deep in the fifth inning of an 11-0 win on Friday night, the Twins' version of M&M Boys did it again against Hernandez in the third for an early 4-0 lead. Mauer is 10-for-16 (.625) with two homers and six RBI against Hernandez in his career.

"He's supposed to be the guy who wins batting titles and I'm supposed to be the guy who hits homers," Morneau said with a big chuckle. "It's good to see. Anytime he's hitting homers, we're doing all right."

Francisco Liriano (2-4) was perfect through three innings. But he hit Ichiro Suzuki to start the fourth and appeared to deflate a little after that. He allowed five runs and six hits in five innings.

Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre had three hits and two RBI, including his first homer since Sept. 7, a span of 35 games and 151 plate appearances. Mike Sweeney added a two-run shot.

Seattle twice had Liriano on the ropes. Yuniesky Betancourt popped out with the bases loaded in the fourth. Beltre tried to steal third with one out in the fifth and was easily thrown out by the Gold Glover Mauer to snuff out a potential rally.

"Just another tough loss," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We've got to be able to get out of the gate and kind of combine the hitting and the pitching and go forward."

Just over a week ago, the Mariners were the surprise of baseball with a 3½-game lead in the AL West. But they have lost 10 of their last 13 games, and fell behind early again on Saturday.

After giving up six runs and 10 hits in a loss to Texas on Monday, things got off to an ominous start for King Felix against the Twins. Leadoff hitter Denard Span hit a high pop fly that left fielder Wladimir Balentien lost in the baseball-colored roof. Span raced to second for a double and Matt Tolbert walked.

Hernandez then threw a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance before Mauer doubled down the right-field line to make it 2-0.

"We're on a five-game losing streak and I just wanted to win the game for the team, and no," a frustrated Hernandez said.

Mauer is making up for lost time in a hurry. After missing the first 22 games with a back injury, Mauer made his season debut on May 1 and homered with his first swing. He is hitting .483 (14-for-29) with three doubles, three homers and nine RBI in eight games.

And after hitting just 19 homers in their first 29 games, the Twins have hit seven in the last two.

"I think I feel good, I feel strong," Mauer said. "I'm just trying not to do too much."

Notes

  • The Twins played their second straight game without 3B Joe Crede (hamstring). He said he will be ready by Tuesday's opener against Detroit.
  • The two-time Gold Glover Beltre made two errors, one a throwing miscue in the fourth that allowed Cuddyer to score.
  • Wakamatsu and a team trainer visited the mound to check on Hernandez in the fourth inning, but he remained in the game.
  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was feeling ill early in the game and watched the final six innings from his office.
 
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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Joe Mauer celebrates receiving his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards by smacking a homer. (AP)
Joe Mauer celebrates receiving his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards by smacking a homer. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Mauer
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Seattle

A. Beltre
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4220000 .320
Jose Lopez, 2B5111012 .256
Mike Sweeney, DH4112021 .279
Adrian Beltre, 3B4232000 .226
Wladimir Balentien, LF4000021 .311
Russell Branyan, 1B3010110 .290
Kenji Johjima, C4021000 .250
Franklin Gutierrez, CF2000201 .272
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4000004 .275
Totals34610636  
Batting
2B - Jose Lopez (5, Liriano), Adrian Beltre (9, Liriano)
HR - Mike Sweeney (2, Liriano), Adrian Beltre (1, Guerrier)
RBI - Jose Lopez (18), Mike Sweeney 2 (9), Adrian Beltre 2 (14), Kenji Johjima (6)
2-OUT RBI - Kenji Johjima (1)
SB - Adrian Beltre (5, 2nd base off Liriano/Mauer)
CS - Adrian Beltre (2, 3rd base by Liriano/Mauer)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Beltre-J. Lopez-Branyan
E - Adrian Beltre 2 (7, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez (L,4-2) 4665322 4.09
Sean White 1233111 3.38
Denny Stark 1000210 14.73
David Aardsma 1000130 2.03
Miguel Batista 1000020 3.31
WP - Felix Hernandez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 81-50, Sean White 26-15, Denny Stark 35-20, David Aardsma 21-13, Miguel Batista 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 6-3, Sean White 2-0, Denny Stark 2-1
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 20, Sean White 6, Denny Stark 6, David Aardsma 4, Miguel Batista 3
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF-LF3111111 .305
Matt Tolbert, 2B4100132 .200
Joe Mauer, C3223200 .483
Justin Morneau, 1B2221200 .322
Jason Kubel, DH4000016 .311
Michael Cuddyer, RF4223011 .271
Brian Buscher, 3B3110110 .200
Delmon Young, LF4000012 .288
    Carlos Gomez, CF0000000 .216
Brendan Harris, SS4000011 .300
Totals3198879  
Batting
2B - Denard Span (4, Hernandez), Joe Mauer (3, Hernandez)
HR - Joe Mauer (3, Hernandez), Justin Morneau (8, Hernandez), Michael Cuddyer (3, S. White)
SF - Denard Span (2)
RBI - Denard Span (15), Joe Mauer 3 (9), Justin Morneau (25), Michael Cuddyer 3 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer (4), Justin Morneau (4)
CS - Denard Span (1, 2nd base by Hernandez/Johjima)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Harris-Tolbert-Morneau, Buscher-Tolbert-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Francisco Liriano (W,2-4) 5655241 5.75
Luis Ayala 2100110 4.70
Matt Guerrier 1211011 3.78
Joe Nathan (S,5) 1100000 1.64
HBP - Suzuki (by Francisco Liriano)
Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 77-43, Luis Ayala 36-22, Matt Guerrier 16-10, Joe Nathan 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 5-5, Luis Ayala 2-2, Matt Guerrier 1-1, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 23, Luis Ayala 7, Matt Guerrier 5, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29552
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether