The Mariners sought to improve their offense this season by bringing in hitters like Jason Bay, Kendrys Morales, and Raul Ibanez. Bay in particular did his part in hitting 2 home runs, but it wasn't enough as the Twins were the beneficiaries of wildness from Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen, and Ryan Doumit hit a 2-run triple to help the Twins walk off the Mariners 5-4 on Saturday afternoon.
The Twins were quickly down in this one in the first inning. Starting pitcher Kevin Correia retired leadoff hitter Endy Chavez on a groundout to 1st base, but then Jason Bay and Kyle Seager hit back-to-back solo home runs to immediately put the Twins in a 2-0 deficit.
Then, the Twins cut the lead in half with the help of some Mariners errors in the 2nd. With Chris Parmelee on 1st base after a single, Chris Colabello hit a weak grounder to shortstop Brendan Ryan. Ryan was waiting for the ball to flip it to second baseman Ryan Franklin, but the ball took a bad hop right before arriving to Ryan and he bobbled it, causing both runners to be safe. Brian Dozier then moved Parmelee up to 3rd on a fly out when Aaron Hicks chopped a grounder halfway between the mound and home plate. Mariners pitcher Aaron Harang fielded the ball as Parmelee was coming home, and Harang only had to make a 40 ft. throw to get Parmelee in a rundown. However, Harang's overhand toss sailed over catcher Kelly Shoppach's head and Parmelee was safe as the score became 2-1. Although Colabello went to 3rd and Hicks made it to 2nd base with 1 out, Pedro Florimon and Eduardo Escobar both struck out to end the threat.
The teams were kept off the scoreboard until the Twins knotted it at 2 in the 6th. Ryan Doumit led off with a double and moved to 3rd on a Colabello groundout. With two outs, Dozier was able to sneak a grounder past a diving Ryan at shortstop to tie the score.
But, the Mariners took the lead again the very next half-inning. Correia struggled with the home run in his last start, and it was a similar story today as Jason Bay hit a 2-out homer to left field in the top of the 7th, his second of the game. Correia was then pulled after allowing a single to Seager before being replaced by Brian Duensing. Unfortunately, Duensing didn't fare much better as he gave up consecutive singles to Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez to give the Mariners a 4-2 lead.
The score would stay the same until the bottom of the 9th. Pitching for the second consecutive game, closer Tom Wilhelmsen struggled with finding the strike zone. He walked the bases loaded with nobody out, along with throwing a wild pitch with Pedro Florimon on base before facing Josh Willingham. A single could have tied the score, but all Willingham could do was lift a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Florimon. This brought up Doumit, who drove a Wilhelmsen fastball to the right-center field fence. Eduardo Escobar scored easily from 2nd, and Joe Mauer could have been thrown out at home with a good throw from shortstop Brendan Ryan, but just like on their first run allowed, the throw sailed over catcher Kelly Shoppach's head, giving the Twins the victory.
WP: Caleb Thielbar (1-0)
LP: Tom Wilhelmsen (0-1)
Ryan Doumit (3 for 5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI)
Aaron Hicks (0 for 4, 6 LOB), Pedro Florimon (0 for 3, BB, 3 K)
Player of the Game
Ryan Doumit for his 3 hits and the game-winning 2-run triple.
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