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Seattle wastes Hernandez gem, Twins win in 13

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez was perfectly fitted for the role of hero again on Friday night, when he went into the ninth inning of another dominating performance with a complete-game shutout on the line.

The Seattle Mariners' starting pitcher had to settle for a no-decision and a seat in the dugout to watch a less likely hero emerge in a 3-2, 13-inning loss to the Minnesota Twins.

After Minnesota's Travis Plouffe ended Hernandez's 24 2/3-inning scoreless streak with an RBI single with one out in the ninth, tying the score 1-1, Twins rookie Chris Colabello delivered the big blow with his first home run in the top of the 13th.

Colabello's two-run home run off reliever Yoervis Medina, the fourth reliever used by Seattle in extra innings, gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead and helped snap the Twins' two-game losing streak.

Colabello had entered the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, only to ground into an inning-ending double play before striking out in the 11th to drop his season average to .128 before delivering the game-winner in the 13th.

"Something like that is pretty special," the rookie outfielder said. "I'll remember it for a long time."

Seattle's Kendrys Morales led off the bottom of the 13th with a home run to cut the deficit to 3-2, but Minnesota closer Glen Perkins recovered to earn his 25th save of the season.

Minnesota's Brian Duensing (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win, while Medina (3-3) took the loss.

Hernandez extended his scoreless streak to 24 1/3 innings by shutting out the Twins until the top of the ninth when Plouffe drove in the first run scored on Hernandez since July 8. Plouffe's single up the middle brought in Pedro Florimon from second base to tie the score 1-1 with one out in the ninth.

Hernandez allowed just five hits and struck out 11 over nine innings of work, but he didn't factor into the decision after winning his previous three starts. He threw 103 pitches before reliever Charlie Furbush took over to start the 10th inning.

"He was on his game tonight," Plouffe said of Hernandez. "That's as good as you're going to see him. He's one of the best in the league."

It marked the 53rd time in Hernandez's career that he has pitched eight or more innings while giving up one run or fewer. But this time, like so many others, Hernandez didn't have a victory to show for it.

"It's baseball," he said after the loss. "I don't get frustrated with anything. You just pitch. It happens."

Minnesota starter Scott Diamond was almost as dominant as Hernandez, allowing just one run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings of work.

"The only way you're going to compete with that guy (Hernandez) is for your starting pitcher to pitch like (Diamond) did tonight," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Minnesota (44-56) struck out 15 times Friday, giving them a total of 28 over the first two games of the series.

The Mariners (49-54) had 12 hits but stranded 11 runners on base and went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Notes: Mariners C Mike Zunino was placed on the 15-day disabled list before Friday night's game. X-rays on his injured left hand revealed a fractured hamate bone, and he's scheduled to undergo surgery next week. ... Seattle signed C Humberto Quintero, a veteran free agent who has made four previous stops during an 11-year career and was hitting .250 with Philadelphia before being designated for assignment earlier in the week. Quintero, who cleared waivers before being signed by the Mariners, joins 41-year-old Henry Blanco as the only catchers on the active roster after Zunino was placed on the DL Friday. ... The Mariners got a break with Twins C Joe Mauer missing his fourth game while on paternity leave Friday. Mauer has a career batting average of .424 (14 of 33) when facing Hernandez.
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