Twins beat Mariners in 11 innings

Published 6:13 am Monday, April 27, 2015

SEATTLE — On a day when even his outs were hit well, Joe Mauer saved his best swing for last.

With two outs in the 11th inning, Mauer hit a two-run triple, lifting the Minnesota Twins over the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Sunday.

The hit to the gap was out of the reach of right fielder Nelson Cruz, and rolled to the wall as the runners scored and Mauer headed to third.

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“I got to run around a little bit,” Mauer said. “Off the bat, as soon as I saw it get by Cruz I thought I might have a chance, and once I was rounding second I said, ‘Why not, let’s go for it.’”

Seattle reliever Tyler Olson (1-1) walked Chris Herrmann to lead off the 11th. After a sacrifice bunt, Olson intentionally walked Brian Dozier. Shane Robinson fouled out before Mauer’s triple.

Mauer had three hits and drove in three runs. In addition to his first triple of the season, he had an RBI double as the Twins won for the third time in four games.

“Right now, he’s getting hits with men in scoring position,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “I’m glad he’s at where he’s at, and he certainly came through for us in a big-time fashion today.”

Seattle went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners stranded runners on third in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this year, allowing two runs and five hits. Minnesota’s bullpen took over and didn’t allow a run. Gibson gave up a double to lead off the eighth inning before Aaron Thompson came on to get out of the inning.

Casey Fien (1-1) gave up one hit over two innings, and Glen Perkins closed out the 11th for his fifth save.

“Gibby pitched awesome today, and we were able to come out and help him out,” Fien said.

Seth Smith hit his first home run of the year and also doubled for the Mariners.

Mariners starter Roenis Elias was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season. He took the rotation spot of Hisashi Iwakuma.