...and nobody is surprised.
Just like the series opener on Friday night, a grand total of three runs were scored in Seattle. But unlike the series opener on Friday night, this time the Twins lost.
Nick Blackburn and Jarrod Washburn pitched like aces, with Washburn strikout out six in his six innings. Blackburn did his thing, striking out just one over seven, but both men would surrender just one run each. Nick has now allowed just four runs over his last four starts, spanning 27 innings.
Mike Redmond drove in the only run for the Twins, on a double to right field that Ichiro Suzuki just couldn't get his glove on. But scoring runs in close games has been the MO on the road for this organization this year, and Saturday was no exception. Delmon Young was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a passed ball, with the bases loaded and one out Seattle was able to escaped unscathed, and even in the ninth inning Denard Span couldn't get the tying run across from third base. Minnesota still hasn't won two in a row on the road all year.
With the game tied at one in the eighth, Ken Griffey Jr took Sean Henn's fastball and drove it into the left-center field gap. Henn, who had been down 2-0, delivered a good pitch, but Griffey got great wood on the ball and let it go exactly where it needed to go. The fastball was low and away, and he pushed it into the gap to score Ichiro from first.
The Twins left nine men on base, and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Against any team, much less the Mariners, if they only score two runs you need to win the game. Span said the exact same thing post-game:
"It's tough whenever you lose, period, but it's definitely tough when pitching did their job today," Span said. "Whenever you hold a team to two runs, you should win that game 99 percent of the time."
Rubber match is Sunday afternoon, just after three. See you then!
Stars of the Game
#3: Alexi Casilla (2-for-3, .077 WPA)
#2: Mike Redmond (1-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB, .156 WPA)
#1: Nick Blackburn (7 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 1 K, .310 WPA)