Mariners 9, Twins 5

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—By the time Kenny Rogers got an out, the Seattle Mariners had all the runs they needed.

Seattle’s first seven hitters reached base—on six singles and a big-hop triple by Greg Colbrunn—as the Mariners completed a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 9-5 victory Sunday.

“There really wasn’t much I could do but keep throwing strikes,” Rogers said. “It’s hard to change your gameplan when they’re not hitting you hard.”

Most of the seven hits were groundballs through the infield or bloopers that fell in front of the outfielders, including Colbrunn’s triple—which bounced off the turf and over right fielder Dustan Mohr’s head.

“Not all of them were crisply hit, but they fell in and it got kind of contagious,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said.

The Mariners scored six times in the first inning and beat Rogers for the first time in his last eight starts against them.

“It’s frustrating, but what are you going to do?” he said. “Good teams make their breaks and they’re a good team.”

The Mariners, whose 37-18 record is the best in the American League, outhit the Twins 55-29 in the series and are 6-0 halfway into a 12-game road trip.

“It’s something to come in against the first-place team in the AL Central and sweep,” Colbrunn said. “That’s a good team over there—they’re going to be there at the end.”

Edgar Martinez homered and had four hits, and Bret Boone hit his 15th home run for the Mariners. Freddy Garcia went seven innings to earn the victory.

Rogers (4-2) left with one out in the second after allowing Boone’s home run, which put Seattle ahead 7-1. He gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits, failing for the fifth consecutive time to earn his 150th career win.

“I think he made some good pitches,” Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “They’re a veteran team that finds ways to get hits.”

The Twins failed to capitalize on numerous opportunities against Garcia (5-6). They loaded the bases with one out in the third but could only score one run, and wasted leadoff hits by Pierzynski in the fourth and Corey Koskie in the fifth. Mohr walked to start the sixth, but was erased when Luis Rivas hit into a double play.

“We had some chances to get back into the game but Garcia made some pitches when he had to,” Pierzynski said.

Garcia allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven. After his shaky start, he retired 11 of his last 13 batters.

Martinez hit his 14th home run, scored three times and drove in two runs for Seattle, which finished with 14 hits. Colbrunn, Jeff Cirillo and Boone each had two RBIs.

The Twins got a run back in the first inning when Jacque Jones homered, and Pierzynski’s two-run homer cut the lead to 7-3 in the second. Doug Mientkiewicz hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to draw the Twins within three, but they got no closer.

“When you’re going for a sweep, to go out and get a six-run lead was huge,” Mariners catcher Dan Wilson said. “It’s a great confidence-builder to come out hitting like that and get the momentum on your side right away.”

Even if the hits weren’t all line drives.

“Give them credit. They put it just where they wanted to,” said Rogers, who threw 39 pitches, 26 for strikes. “I just kept throwing strikes. Maybenext time I’ll have to throw a few more balls.”


Jones led off the game with a home run for the 19th time in his career, third this season and second in the series. … The Twins got their leadoff man aboard in the first six innings. … Lew Ford hit his first major league homer in the ninth for Minnesota. … Interleague play starts Tuesday, with the Twins traveling to San Francisco and the Mariners visiting Philadelphia. … Seattle is 15-0 in day games this year. … The Mariners have swept four series thisseason, while the Twins have been swept four times—three at home.

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