MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jorge Polanco scored the tying run on a wild pitch and Marwin Gonzalez hit the go-ahead RBI single during Minnesota’s three-run rally in the eighth inning, giving the Twins a 6-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Polanco, who entered the game second in the AL in batting, reached base all four times he batted. He tried for a hustle double on each of his three hits, beating the tag at second base twice. That included the eighth against reliever Brandon Brennan (2-5), when Polanco followed Max Kepler’s leadoff double with his own on a head-first slide to cut the lead to 5-4.
After advancing on a long fly out by Eddie Rosario, Polanco raced home on a stray slider by Austin Adams that skipped in the dirt past catcher Tom Murphy. Gonzalez put the surging Twins in front with his sharp single, clapping his hands in satisfaction as he pointed to an exuberant home dugout during the sprint to first.
The Mariners started the ninth with two singles against Trevor May, but the right-hander notched his first save of the season by striking out Edwin Encarnación looking and retiring the next two batters. Matt Magill (2-0) pitched a perfect eighth for the Twins, who have won 19 of their last 25 games.
Encarnación gave the Mariners a third-inning lead with a three-run home run off starter Martin Perez, after reaching the 400-homer mark for his career in the previous game. A two-out infield single by Mallex Smith started the rally, putting starter Mike Leake in position for a third straight victory after logging 16 innings with just three runs allowed over his previous two turns.
The Twins, who entered the evening with the second-most homers in the major leagues, muscled their way back in the fourth inning. Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run home run, and Jason Castro followed with the tying solo shot. That gave the Twins their seventh set of back-to-back homers this year, matching the Mariners for the most in baseball.
With the team playing at home for the first time in two weeks, the Twins rolled out new red “Bomba Squad” T-shirts to tout their newfound power with a fan giveaway and played a siren sound effect over the ballpark speakers after each homer.
Daniel Vogelbach’s RBI single against Perez put the Mariners back in front. Perez has logged only 17 1/3 innings over his last four starts.
Encarnación hit his 21st home run of the season and the 16th of his career at Target Field, the second-most by a visiting player in the 10-year history of the facility. Salvador Perez has hit 17 homers here for the Kansas City Royals.
Mariners: 2B Dee Gordon (bruised right wrist) returned to the lineup after a 19-game absence, bringing the number of players on the injured list down to 10. Manager Scott Servais said SS J.P. Crawford (sprained left ankle) will likely be the next reinstatement when the team starts a series in Oakland on Friday, provided he finishes a rehab assignment with Class A Modesto this week unscathed. Crawford has missed the last 13 games.
Twins: With the lineup fully healthy and only one player (LH reliever Adalberto Mejia) on the injured list, 1B C.J. Cron got the rest day with Gonzalez playing there, Nelson Cruz serving as the DH and Miguel Sano at 3B.
Mariners: LHP Tommy Milone (1-1, 3.10 ERA) will be the primary pitcher on Wednesday night, with a to-be-determined reliever serving as the opener. Servais announced that LHP Yusei Kikuchi will start on Thursday afternoon.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (8-2, 3.14 ERA) will take the mound for the middle game of the series. He has completed at least six innings in 11 of 13 turns this season.
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