MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Seattle right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma dazzled the Minnesota Twins over 7 2/3 shutout innings, and a third-inning homer by Kendrys Morales gave the Mariners all the offense they needed in a 3-0 win at Target Field on Friday.
Iwakuma gave the Mariners yet another outstanding performance from their starting rotation, allowing seven hits and striking out five while walking two. He won his fourth straight decision and lowered his ERA to 2.16. It was the ninth time in 11 starts that Iwakuma (6-1) allowed two or fewer earned runs.
In their last six games, Seattle's starting pitchers have an earned run average of 1.79 (nine runs, 45.1 innings).
Twins starter Mike Pelfrey matched Iwakuma zero for zero until the sixth inning, when Morales followed a single by Kyle Seager with a two-run blast over the deepest part of the center-field fence near the Mariners' bullpen. Pelfrey (3-6) was able to get only one more out before leaving the game.
Minnesota stranded eight runners, two of them at third base, and saw its winning streak end at four. Seattle has won four of six and two straight on the road.
Both teams threatened early but failed to score. The Mariners had runners on first and second in the second and fifth innings, but got nothing out of either rally. The Twins failed to score in the third after putting runners on the corners.
Iwakuma and Pelfrey benefited from double plays in the early innings, but each came up with a key strikeout as well.
Seattle appeared ready to take the early lead in the fifth inning with two outs and a runner on third. Jason Bay sent a deep drive to right field that Chris Parmelee caught before crashing into the wall.
The Mariners got a break in the bottom of the fifth when Parmelee was held at third base when Pedro Florimon's two-out slice to left field bounced into the seats for a ground rule double. Jamey Carroll bounced back to the box to end the threat.
NOTES: Twins outfielder Wilkin Ramirez is not expected to be activated when he's eligible to come off the seven-day concussion list on Sunday. He's been taking tests every day since getting hurt in a collision with left fielder Josh Willingham last Saturday in Detroit. ... Joe Mauer's next home run will be the 100th of his career. ... Seattle catcher Jesus Sucre avoided injury at the plate in the third inning by tagging then spinning away from Parmelee, who came home standing up and tried to knock the ball loose. ... The Mariners have five shutouts this season, four of them combined. The only complete game shutout was by Aaron Harang earlier this week against San Diego.