The Seattle Mariners ' push for .500 took a step back, but their starting pitching continues to make positive strides.
Since Mariners starters allowed 20 runs in three games against Boston from July 9-11, the rotation has yielded 18 earned runs during the team's 9-2 run. After Hisashi Iwakuma tossed six scoreless innings in Thursday's 8-2 victory over the Twins (44-56), ace Felix Hernandez was two outs from a shutout Friday when Trevor Plouffe 's RBI single helped send the game to extra innings.
Rookie Chris Colabello 's first career homer - a two-run shot - in the 13th was the difference as Minnesota snapped a six-game losing streak at Seattle (49-54) with a 3-2 victory."The last couple days I've been feeling a lot better in the box," said Colabello, who was 5 for 37 in his first 13 games. "I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to help the team and do what I could to be successful, and obviously something like that is pretty special. I'll remember it for a long time."
The Twins now will try to win for the eighth time in 11 games as they face Harang (5-8, 5.06 ERA) for the second time this season. Making his first start against Minnesota in 10 years, Harang threw six innings of two-run ball in a 5-4 road win June 1.
The right-hander is hoping for another strong outing after watching Iwakuma and Hernandez roll through the Twins' lineup.
"You kind of want to match what the guy did the night before and that's how you get on good streaks," he said after giving up one run in seven innings of Monday's 2-1 victory over Cleveland. "It's that competitiveness in the clubhouse, but we're also going out there trying to help our team win."
Samuel Deduno (6-4, 3.50) has the same goal in mind as he attempts to match a career high by winning a third consecutive start.
After holding the Yankees to a run over seven innings right before the break in New York, the right-hander allowed two runs in seven Monday to help Minnesota open its seven-game trip with a 4-3 victory over the Angels."Sammy was unbelievable against a very tough lineup that can do a lot of things with the bat, and he made pitch after pitch," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Deduno, who's pitched at least six innings in seven straight outings, made both of his starts against the Mariners last season. He went 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in those contests, which included a 5-1 loss at Seattle on Aug. 19 as he walked a career-worst six.
If he runs into any problems Saturday, Gardenhire should have no reservations about turning to his bullpen. That group has surrendered just three runs in 12 2-3 innings this series - including a solo homer by Kendrys Morales in the 13th inning Friday - and owns a 1.86 ERA over the last 14 games.
Joe Mauer won't be behind the plate for the Twins until at least Tuesday as he remains with his family after his wife gave birth to twin girls this week.
The Mariners could be without rookie catcher Mike Zunino for the rest of the season after he was placed on the disabled list Friday with a broken bone in his left hand. Seattle signed veteran Humberto Quintero to help fill that void, but Henry Blanco should get a majority of the work behind the plate."We're going to lean on him quite a bit here on out," said bench coach Robby Thompson , who's serving as acting manager with Eric Wedge recovering from a minor stroke suffered earlier this week.
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||15-Day DL||Medial meniscus tear, left knee|
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||Day-to-Day||Left knee soreness|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 11, 2013||Jared Burton||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|June 10, 2013||Aaron Hicks||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|July 26, 2013||Mike Zunino||15-Day DL||Fractured left hamate bone|
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
SEATTLE (AP) -- When Samuel Deduno is on the mound, Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau hears a litany of complaints from opponents.
"Guys, if they ever do get to first, say, `Man, I don't know what to look for off this guy,"' Morneau said. "And then it's got so much movement they can't get locked in on anything. You rarely see guys square the ball up off him. It's fun watching him pitch. He's got some great intensity."
Deduno kept the Seattle Mariners off balance for seven scoreless innings Saturday and Morneau and Brian Dozier each homered to lead the Twins to a 4-0 victory.
Deduno (7-4) allowed three hits, walked three and tied his season high with six strikeouts. He has thrown seven innings in each of his last three starts, all wins, and has a 1.29 ERA in that span. Saturday, he had his pitches working early as he struck out two in each of the first two innings.
"You can see their hitters, there were balls they were swinging and then looking back trying to see where the ball went, and that tells you his ball's really moving," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
In three career starts against Seattle, Deduno has allowed only two earned runs over 20 innings.
"He's got real life on his ball," Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson said. "He's effectively wild at times, and he has really good stuff."
In the rare cases where Seattle was able to put some men on base, the Twins defense came through for Deduno. In the fourth, Deduno walked two but a double play ended the inning. In the seventh, Gardenhire kept Deduno in even after he gave up a one-out single to Kyle Seager and walked Justin Smoak , and the confidence was rewarded when Deduno got Endy Chavez to ground into a double play.
"That makes me very excited. I said to myself, `I can do it because they believe in me,"' Deduno said. "They've done it a couple times, leave me in the seventh inning, and if I get in trouble I make the pitches."
Once Deduno left, relievers Josh Roenicke , Jared Burton and Anthony Swarzak preserved the Twins' fifth shutout of the season. Minnesota has won four of its last six games - all on the road - and has a chance to win its fourth straight series when it concludes the four-game set against Seattle on Sunday.
Aaron Harang (5-9) threw 107 pitches in five innings, the ninth time in 17 starts he has gone five innings or less. Harang gave up one run on three hits, struck out five and walked two.
Morneau led off the fourth with a double for the Twins' first hit. With one out, Chris Colabello hit a shallow pop fly to right field that fell between the Mariners' defenders, and Morneau scored on Clete Thomas ' groundout, giving Minnesota a 1-0 lead.
Reliever Charlie Furbush came on in the sixth inning. After getting two quick outs, Furbush gave up a single and walked two to load the bases. Yoervis Medina came on and walked Aaron Hicks , giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.
Medina had more trouble in the seventh. Dozier led off the inning with his ninth home run and Morneau hit a solo shot with one out to knock Medina out of the game.
"Not a lot of offense, but a couple of big homers extended the lead," Gardenhire said. "It was just kind of one of those hold-on-ers - we played good defense, made the plays we had to and went from there."
Medina has given up three home runs in his last two appearances after also allowing a homer to Colabello on Friday night. He had not allowed any home runs in his previous 36 appearances.
Seager and Brad Miller each had two hits for the Mariners, who have lost three of four.
Both teams had issues with missed opportunities. The Twins were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10, while Seattle was 0 for 8 and left seven men on base.
NOTES: The Seattle Mariners recalled RHP Brandon Maurer from Triple-A Tacoma before the game. "He's going to go in the bullpen and probably be our long guy right now," Thompson said. ... Seattle also optioned RHP Hector Noesi to Tacoma. ... Newly signed free agent C Humberto Quintero was the seventh different catcher to start for the Mariners this season. ... The Twins are 10-5 against AL West teams and have won eight of their last 11 games against West teams.