We’re in the seventh inning of a 5-1 game the Mariners haven’t had to break a sweat in against a demoralized looking Twins team that can’t hit its way out of a paper bag left to soak in hot water for two weeks. Four hits by the Twinkies off Hector Noesi so far — giving them a grand total of 13 going on five games now.
Ryan Doumit just shocked everybody by hitting one out to right off Noesi to start the seventh inning, the first long ball in 259 plate appearances by the Twins.
The Mariners have squandered opportunities galore, but didn’t really need them. Brendan Ryan brought the fifth run home on a sac fly to foul territory in right that Erik Komatsu really had no business catching. Anyhow, the M’s are three innings away from a series win that — barring an absolute miracle — they are going to get.
2:12 p.m.: Mike Carp went deep to right field to lead off the second inning, giving Seattle a 4-0 lead. The Mariners nearly added to it in the third inning, loading the bases with one out. But Justin Smoak popped out to second base and Carp grounded out.
1:44 p.m.: The Mariners put some extra-base hits together in the first and lead 3-0 in a game the Minnesota Twins seem to have very little interest in. Nick Blackburn can’t find the strikezone, the Twins infielders are bobbling the ball, the outfielders are slipping and falling and…oh yeah, the Mariners. Well, they were hitting.
A leadoff walk by Dustin Ackley, a single by Brendan Ryan and then a double-play grounder by Ichiro that was bobbled led to runners being at second and third with only one out. Jesus Montero then doubled past third baseman Danny Valencia — who seemed more interested in making his dive look good than in actually stopping the ball (a bit slow) to bring home two runs.
Kyle Seager then doubled on a ball nobody could get to and that brought the third run in.
Twins might want to step the intensity level up a notch or two. Not that it will matter now. They won’t score four runs without a whole lotta help and they kind of burned that quota on Friday night.
12:55 p.m.: The Mariners have not won a series at home since taking out Oakland back on April 13-15, but they have a shot at doing so today. Hector Noesi hasn’t won a game since the middle contest of that Oakland series, but if ever an opponent was tailor-made for him, this Minnesota Twins squad might be it.
The Twins have managed just nine hits their last four games. Yes, that’s terrible. In fact, it’s the fewest over a four-game span in modern baseball history dating back to 1900. The previous low was 10 hits by the California Angels in 1963 and then the Cincinnati Reds in 1993.
CF Denard Span
SS Jamey Carroll
C Joe Mauer
LF Josh Willingham
DH Ryan Doumit
1B Chris Parmelee
3B Danny Valencia
RF Erik Konatsu
2B Alexi Casilla
RHP Nick Blackburn
2B Dustin Ackley
SS Brendan Ryan
DH Jesus Montero
3B Kyle Seager
C John Jaso
LF Mike Carp
CF Michael Saunders
RHP Hector Noesi