MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The cheers and laughs were loud in Seattle's clubhouse, and manager
was doused in beer. The Mariners started this season with plenty to celebrate.
Ken Griffey Jr. celebrated his second stint with Seattle by hitting an opening-night home run to back
in a 6-1 victory over the
''That was unbelievable,'' said Wakamatsu, baseball's first Asian-American manager. ''Griffey and the boys ... just kind of
congratulated me and then gave me a little shower. Pretty special to go through spring training and then start the year off
with a win like this.''
had a two-run homer against
as the Mariners - with five new faces in their lineup - took the first step toward forgetting the futility of last year. Hernandez
threw 97 pitches in eight innings, making his manager proud.
''That's what we wanted out of him ... to come out and pitch with some heart,'' Wakamatsu said.
's No. 51 jersey hanging in the dugout as a sign of togetherness, a trait sorely lacking during a 61-101 season in 2008, Seattle
spoiled the final of 28 openers in the Metrodome's history. The Twins move to open-air Target Field next spring.
''The chemistry on this team is unbelievable,'' Gutierrez said.
Sunshine illuminated a cloudless sky outside, but with the wind blowing and the first-pitch temperature a nippy 41 degrees
the Teflon roof served a purpose. The Twins wore replicas of their uniforms from 1982, the Dome's first season, with the red
caps and cursive lettering on their chests. They also had a special patch to honor late owner Carl Pohlad.
Griffey's 41 homers against Minnesota are his most against any opponent, a remarkable number given his nine years in the National
League. His eighth opening-day home run matched a major league record and gave him 612 for his career.
''He can still hit,'' Liriano said.
Hernandez (1-0) retired the last 10 batters he faced and struck out six, yielding one run, five hits and three walks. The
Twins left five runners in scoring position, going 2-for-10 in that situation after leading the majors with a .305 average
''To go out there and watch him throw like that in this place, it was pretty fun,'' Griffey said.
struck out three times, though his RBI single in the fifth was the only damage for Minnesota. Hernandez hobbled around the
mound, twice turning his right ankle while hustling into fielding position, but his stuff was much sharper than his gait in
his second career opening-day start. The pain increased as the game wore on.
''But I'm fine,'' Hernandez said. ''I'm ready for the next one.''
He spotted his fastball effectively, creating the opportunity to mix in his frequently nasty breaking pitches.
followed Cuddyer's big hit with an inning-ending double-play grounder. Earlier in the fifth, with the bases already full and
swung at a neck-high pitch and popped out.
''He made great pitches,'' Morneau said. ''He's a No. 1 for a reason.''
, playing behind the plate for injured All-Star
, led off that inning with a double after getting hit by an errant bat shard. That, however, was Minnesota's only extra-base
hit. Mauer's defense of his second batting title began in Florida with another day of hitting off a tee, playing catch and
exercising in the pool. He could be back later this month, but the Twins are being particularly cautious.
Liriano (0-1) allowed four runs and only four baserunners without a walk, but he left a few hittable balls up in the strike
doubled and scored on
's second-inning sacrifice fly. Griffey led off the fifth with his homer. Then Gutierrez followed
's one-out single in the sixth with his shot in an inning with two other long flyouts.
The Mariners added to the lead in the ninth on a two-run single by
''It's just one game,'' Griffey said, adding: ''Hopefully we can put all that stuff behind us and play good baseball from
Notes: Suzuki's bloodwork will be back Wednesday, and if it's clear the Mariners will consider a schedule for him to play
in some minor league games. On the DL because of a bleeding ulcer, he's eligible to be activated April 15. ''He wants to play
in a game, like yesterday,'' Wakamatsu said. ''We're slowing him down. ... Until that point, we want him just to keep working
out.'' ... The start of bullpen coach
's 29th season with the Twins was delayed by sickness. He felt groggy and was taken to a hospital as a precaution. ... Wakamatsu
took several calls from friends before the game, including former boss Buck Showalter, who managed the
from 2003-06 while Wakamatsu was bench coach. ''He said, 'Do not stumble on the turf,''' Wakamatsu said, sharing Showalter's
advice. ''That'd be a pretty bad first impression.'' ... With five starting-caliber OFers for three spots and a DH, Twins
, 1-for-7 in his career against Hernandez, on the bench. Young will be in Tuesday's lineup. ''They're all going to play, all
year long,'' Gardenhire said.