Doumit makes Mauer run for Twins' walk-off win

Al Schoch, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ryan Doumit didn't have to Google his name to find out if he ever had hit a walk-off triple.
Saturday's was his first.
"I think I can count on one hand how many triples I've had in my big-league career," Doumit said after his screaming liner in the bottom of the ninth scored Eduardo Escobar and Joe Mauer to give the Twins a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Target Field.
Doumit, who also had a double and single, ripped a 2-and-2 pitch from Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen to the right-center field gap.
Escobar scored easily, while Mauer was off from first at the crack of the bat and never stopped, chugging around the rain-slicked basepaths and sliding home as the relay throw sailed to the backstop.
"I was fortunate to get a pitch up that I could drive, and it's a testament to Joe, scoring from first base in muddy conditions like that," said Doumit, still soaked from a Gatorade bath and wiping away shaving cream that has been planted on his kisser.
The Mariners took a 4-2 lead in the sixth on Jason Bay's second home run of the game and a run-scoring single by Raul Ibanez. Kyle Seager also hit a solo home run, going deep right after Bay's first-inning shot of starter Kevin Correia.
Picking up his first major league victory was rookie Caleb Thielbar, who grew up in nearby Randolph, Minn. and played independent baseball for the cross-town St. Paul Saints.
Thielbar allowed one hit in the ninth and has yet to be scored on in 7 1/3 innings over six big-league appearances.
"It's a pretty cool experience; it's fun to get that one out of the way," Thielbar said. "To do it at home, being able to have some friends and family in the crowd to see it is pretty cool."
While Thielbar it making a name for himself, Wilhelmsen is trying to revert back to his old form. Handed a two-run lead, Wilhelmsen walked the first three batters in the ninth before giving up a sacrifice fly to Josh Willingham.
Doumit then followed with his game-winner.
"Just not throwing the ball where he wants to," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "He was so good with that for a long period of time, and has been struggling the last week or so with that."
All three of Wilhelmsen's blown saves have come since mid-May, and despite his confounding wildness, Wedge had no intention on replacing him when the Twins put runners on.
"With closers, you live and die with them," Wedge said.
The Twins won for the sixth time in eight games, but except for a two-out, game-tying single by Brian Dozier in the sixth inning, they had a hard time getting anything going until the ninth.
Minnesota didn't have a hit off Seattle starter Aaron Harang until the fourth and scored its first run on two Seattle errors in the second inning.
Twins starter Kevin Correia settled down after a rough first inning but unraveled in the seventh. He allowed seven hits and four runs, walking two and striking out three.
The first could have been an even bigger inning for the Mariners, who stranded two base runners when Correia got the final out.
After being shut out on Friday, the Twins finally got on the board in the second inning, and the Mariners have themselves to blame.
After shortstop Brendan Ryan botched a potential double-play grounder, pitcher Harang threw the ball several feet over the head of catcher Kelly Shoppach and Chris Parmelee scored from third.
Harang struck out the Pedro Florimon and Eduardo Escobar to prevent further damage.
Chris Parmelee and Chris Colabello opened the fourth with singles, but Harang again was able to stop the bleeding.
NOTES: Justin Morneau was out of the Twins' lineup on Saturday because of the flu, and rookie Chris Colabello got the start at first base. ... Kendrys Morales had 16 extra base hits in May (11 doubles, five home runs), the most by a Seattle player since 2009. ... Jason Bay's first home run was the 450th hit at Target Field, and 263rd by a visiting player. The Twins have hit 187 home runs in their home park. ... After batting third for five straight games, Joe Mauer was back in the No. 2 hole on Saturday. ... The last time the Twins had a walk-off triple was when Lew Ford did it on Aug. 3, 2005 against Oakland at the Metrodome.

What to Read Next