Five-run first inning powers Twins
The Seattle Mariners are heading to the heat of Texas for a three-game series against a hot Rangers club.
Minnesota brought the heat on Thursday, salvaging a split in a four-game series with the Mariners with a 6-2 win at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Twins hit three home runs, including a two-run shot by Eduardo Escobar and a three-run homer by Chris Gimenez — his first of two — in the first inning off Seattle starter Ariel Miranda (6-3) to build a 5-0 lead.
Ben Gamel's RBI single put Seattle (33-35) on the board in the third inning, but the Twins responded with another Gimenez homer in the bottom of the inning.
Gamel scored on Robinson Cano's RBI single in the sixth inning.
Miranda gave up 10 hits and six runs in four innings.
"Ariel wasn't really sharp," manager Scott Servais said. "He didn't have it early. He did hang in there, and got us through four and Chase (De Jong) helped us preserve the bullpen." De Jong allowed one hit in four innings of scoreless pitching.
Meanwhile, rookie Jose Berrios moved to 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA by limiting the Mariners to five hits and two runs while striking out six and walking one in eight innings pitched.
"Give him credit," Servais said. "We've been swinging the bats pretty well and he shut us down."
The Twins moved to 34-29.
Seattle starts its three-game series at Texas at 5 p.m. Friday, with James Paxton (5-1, 2.25) pitching for Seattle opposite Tyson Ross (0-0, 0.00).
The Mariners are close to getting key players back from the injured list: shortstop Jean Segura and pitchers Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.