for this game

Twins hand Mariners 6th straight loss

May 10, 2009 - 3:39 AM By JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS(AP) -- Joe Mauer doesn't hit many home runs - just 47 since he broke into the big leagues in 2004.

So when he went deep in consecutive games for the first time since 2005, Mauer could only laugh when his bigger, badder buddy - Justin Morneau - did the same thing right behind him just to show it's not as hard as Mauer sometimes makes it look.

Mauer and Morneau hit back-to-back homers for the second straight night and Minnesota roughed up Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in a 9-6 victory over the Mariners on Saturday.

"I hit a home run, it doesn't happen a whole lot," Mauer said with a wide grin. "Then he's got to go back and show everybody that he can do it too. I always give him a hard time, saying, 'Hey, look at me, I can do it too.' It's all in fun."

Mauer had two hits and three RBIs and Michael Cuddyer added a 427-foot, three-run homer off Sean White in the fifth inning. Joe Nathan picked up his fifth save in six chances.

Hernandez (4-2) gave up six runs - five earned - and six hits in four innings for the Mariners, who have lost six in a row.

After they both went deep in the fifth inning of an 11-0 win on Friday night, the Twins' version of M&M Boys did it again against Hernandez in the third for an early 4-0 lead. Mauer is 10 for 16 (.625) with two homers and six RBIs against Hernandez in his career.

"He's supposed to be the guy who wins batting titles and I'm supposed to be the guy who hits homers," Morneau said with a big chuckle. "It's good to see. Anytime he's hitting homers, we're doing all right."

Francisco Liriano (2-4) was perfect through three innings. But he hit Ichiro Suzuki to start the fourth and appeared to deflate a little after that. He allowed five runs and six hits in five innings.

Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre had three hits and two RBIs, including his first homer since Sept. 7, a span of 35 games and 151 plate appearances. Mike Sweeney added a two-run shot.

Seattle twice had Liriano on the ropes. Yuniesky Betancourt popped out with the bases loaded in the fourth. Beltre tried to steal third with one out in the fifth and was easily thrown out by the Gold Glover Mauer to snuff out a potential rally.

"Just another tough loss," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We've got to be able to get out of the gate and kind of combine the hitting and the pitching and go forward."

Just over a week ago, the Mariners were the surprise of baseball with a 3 1/2-game lead in the AL West. But they have lost 10 of their last 13 games, and fell behind early again on Saturday.

After giving up six runs and 10 hits in a loss to Texas on Monday, things got off to an ominous start for King Felix against the Twins. Leadoff hitter Denard Span hit a high pop fly that left fielder Wladimir Balentien lost in the baseball-colored roof. Span raced to second for a double and Matt Tolbert walked.

Hernandez then threw a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance before Mauer doubled down the right-field line to make it 2-0.

"We're on a five-game losing streak and I just wanted to win the game for the team, and no," a frustrated Hernandez said.

Mauer is making up for lost time in a hurry. After missing the first 22 games with a back injury, Mauer made his season debut on May 1 and homered with his first swing. He is hitting .483 (14 for 29) with three doubles, three homers and nine RBIs in eight games.

And after hitting just 19 homers in their first 29 games, the Twins have hit seven in the last two.

"I think I feel good, I feel strong," Mauer said. "I'm just trying not to do too much."

Notes: The Twins played their second straight game without 3B Joe Crede (hamstring). He said he will be ready by Tuesday's opener against Detroit. ... The two-time Gold Glover Beltre made two errors, one a throwing miscue in the fourth that allowed Cuddyer to score. ... Wakamatsu and a team trainer visited the mound to check on Hernandez in the fourth inning, but he remained in the game. ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was feeling ill early in the game and watched the final six innings from his office.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 1 0 6 10 2
    MINNESOTA 2 0 2 2 3 0 0 0 x 9 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ, SEAN WHITE (5TH), DENNY STARK (6TH), DAVID
    AARDSMA (7TH), MIGUEL BATISTA (8TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA
    MIN - FRANCISCO LIRIANO, LUIS AYALA (6TH), M

    May 9 10:06 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ADRIAN BELTRE (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF MATT GUERRIER.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 6, MINNESOTA 9
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: W BALENTIEN (.318, 0-FOR-3)

    Mariners 6, Twins 9  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 9 9:46 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY MICHAEL CUDDYER (3) TO LEFT WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF SEAN WHITE SCORED JOE MAUER AND JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5, MINNESOTA 9
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B BUSCHER (.206, 1-FOR-2)

    Mariners 5, Twins 9  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 9 8:52 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADRIAN BELTRE SCORED JOSE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A BELTRE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    MINNESOTA 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: W BALENTIEN (.326, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners 5, Twins 6  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 9 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSE LOPEZ SCORED ICHIRO SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LOPEZ ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    MINNESOTA 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: M SWEENEY (.288, 1-FOR-2, HR, 2 RBI)

    Mariners 4, Twins 6  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 9 8:32 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DENARD SPAN SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B HARRIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    MINNESOTA 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M TOLBERT (.250, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Mariners 3, Twins 6  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 9 8:27 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY ADRIAN BELTRE ALLOWED MICHAEL CUDDYER TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B HARRIS ON SECOND, B BUSCHER ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.310, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Mariners 3, Twins 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 9 8:24 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KENJI JOHJIMA SCORED ADRIAN BELTRE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, K JOHJIMA ON FIRST, R BRANYAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: F GUTIERREZ (.275, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 3, Twins 4  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 9 8:10 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIKE SWEENEY (2) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF FRANCISCO LIRIANO SCORED ICHIRO SUZUKI.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: A BELTRE (.207, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 2, Twins 4  Top 4, 0 OutsMay 9 8:01 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (8) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF FELIX HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.320, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 0, Twins 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 9 7:54 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOE MAUER (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF FELIX HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0, MINNESOTA 3
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.310, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Mariners 0, Twins 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 9 7:52 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED DENARD SPAN AND MATT TOLBERT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MAUER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.310, 7 HR, 24 RBI)

    Mariners 0, Twins 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 9 7:21 PM