The Minnesota Twins’ hold on sole possession of first place in the division turned out to be brief after a surprise loss to the team with the worst record in the American League.
After blowing a six-run lead in their opener against Seattle, the Twins look to bounce back as they continue a three-game series with the Mariners on Tuesday.
Minnesota (62-50) had moved a half-game ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central on Sunday, but failed to keep the lead long. The Twins lost 11-6 to the Mariners (43-69) on Monday and dropped one percentage point behind the idle White Sox.
Minnesota led 6-0 in the fourth, but Seattle had a 10-run seventh, highlighted by Raul Ibanez’s grand slam off Twins starter Glen Perkins. Ibanez set a franchise record with six RBIs in an inning, surpassing the mark of five established by Ken Griffey Jr. set on April 29, 1999.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” Ibanez said. “I wasn’t even sure it was the same inning.”
The 10 runs scored in the seventh were the most by Seattle in an inning since also scoring 10 against Baltimore on Aug. 30, 2003. Seattle entered the game with a league-low 449 runs and scored 10 or more runs for just the sixth time.
The Twins, meanwhile, lost for just the third time in their last 10 games. Four Twins relievers allowed six runs in 1 2-3 innings after the bullpen had gone 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA since July 26.
“We got nobody out in the bullpen. Just terrible pitches. Balls flying around everywhere,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.
“We have to have someone … step up and make pitches. Not very much fun.”
Scott Baker (7-3, 3.53 ERA) looks to help the Twins bounce back on Tuesday. Baker allowed four runs and five hits in six innings on Thursday against the White Sox, and did not receive a decision in Minnesota’s 10-6 win.
Baker is 5-1 in his last eight starts since June 20, and the Twins have won six of those outings. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.34 ERA in three starts against the Mariners, whom he has not faced this season.
R.A. Dickey (3-6, 4.41) counters for Seattle after he pitched well on Thursday, allowing two runs and six hits over 7 2-3 innings of an 8-5 win against Texas. The victory was his first since June 24 against the Mets.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 8.44 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance against the Twins. This is his first time facing them since 2004 and the first time as a starter since 2003.
Seattle hasn’t won three in a row since June 27-29.