for this game

Span helps Twins salvage series finale with Mariners

Aug 7, 2008 - 1:28 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Rookie outfielder Denard Span is filling in for Michael Cuddyer, but it's going to be tough to get him out of the lineup.

Span had three hits, drove in four runs and also displayed flashy defense as the Minnesota Twins recorded a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday to avoid a sweep of the three-game series.

"He'll bat (first) and he'll play, I'll tell you that right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said about Span's future when Cuddyer returns. "He plays super defense and understands the game. He's hit lefties and he's hit righties. I can't think of too many things he hasn't done well since he's been back up here."

Span, who was recalled from Class AAA Rochester on June 30, got the Twins rolling with a bases-loaded triple against Jarrod Washburn as Minnesota went up, 4-0, in the second inning. He later capped a three-run eighth with a run-scoring bunt single to raise his batting average to .315.

But despite his offensive heroics, all Span wanted to talk about was his leaping catch to rob Adrian Beltre of a potential home run that ended the seventh inning and preserved a 4-3 lead.

"I've never robbed a home run in my life to be honest with you," Span said. "I don't hit too many home runs, but that definitely feels way better than hitting a home run, especially in that situation and the magnitude of the game."

The Twins had suffered a pair of frustrating losses to the Mariners the previous two nights and Span said he was determined to help change that.

"You guys (Seattle) broke our hearts two days in a row and I just wanted to go into a day off with a good attitude," Span said. "That was my motivation."

Nick Blackburn (9-6) tossed six solid innings, allowing three runs and nine hits, as Minnesota snapped Seattle's three-game win streak - its longest of the season.

"It definitely wasn't easy," Blackburn said. "I didn't feel too good out there and I wasn't throwing very many good pitches. It was ugly, but I ended up keeping us close enough and we were able to pull it out."

His counterpart, Washburn (5-11), surrendered four runs - three earned - five hits and three walks in six frames.

Three of the hits came in the second, and the only hit allowed by Washburn after Span's triple was a double by Brendan Harris to lead off the fourth.

"Early on, Span had a big hit, a bullet down the line," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "That pitch I'm sure (Washburn) would like to have back. But, as he always does, it seems like he is deep in the game, giving us a chance to win."

Riggleman admitted he thought Beltre's ball was over the fence for a two-run homer.

"It seems like Beltre in particular has hit more balls that you think are not going to get caught, and that one I really allowed myself to think that that ball was gone," Riggleman said. "I didn't think there was any chance that ball would stay in the ballpark. But it did and Span made a nice play on it."

Ichiro Suzuki singled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for the Mariners.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 7 11 0
    SEATTLE 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 11 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIN - NICK BLACKBURN, DENNYS REYES (7TH), JESSE CRAIN (7TH), JOE
    NATHAN (9TH) AND MIKE REDMOND
    SEA - JARROD WASHBURN, MARK LOWE (7TH), JARED WELLS
    (8TH) AND JEFF C

    Aug 6 7:31 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    BUNT SINGLE BY DENARD SPAN SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D SPAN ON FIRST, A EVERETT ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 7
    SEATTLE 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: N PUNTO (.275, 0-FOR-4)

    Twins 7, Mariners 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 6 7:07 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRENDAN HARRIS SCORED DELMON YOUNG AND RANDY
    RUIZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B HARRIS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 6
    SEATTLE 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A EVERETT (.185, 1-FOR-1, BB, SAC, RBI)

    Twins 6, Mariners 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 6 6:58 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Twins 6, Mariners 3  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 6 6:58 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Twins 4, Mariners 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 6 6:39 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ADRIAN BELTRE SCORED ICHIRO SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J REED ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    SEATTLE 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.308, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 4, Mariners 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 6 6:09 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEREMY REED SCORED YUNIESKY BETANCOURT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J REED ON FIRST, I SUZUKI ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    SEATTLE 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R IBANEZ (.289, 1-FOR-2)

    Twins 4, Mariners 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 6 6:05 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADRIAN BELTRE SCORED JEREMY REED.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A BELTRE ON FIRST, R IBANEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    SEATTLE 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.308, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 4, Mariners 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 6 5:34 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY DENARD SPAN SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS, ADAM EVERETT
    AND CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, D SPAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    SEATTLE 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: N PUNTO (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 4, Mariners 0  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 6 5:11 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM EVERETT SCORED RANDY RUIZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A EVERETT ON FIRST, B HARRIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    SEATTLE 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.259, 5 HR, 35 RBI)

    Twins 1, Mariners 0  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 6 5:06 PM