This game wasn’t really as close as the 5-3 final score indicated. The Twins made it interesting in the eighth when Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham connected for consecutive solo homers off Stephen Pryor.
They weren’t cheapies, either. Both connected way, way deep. The Mariners held on to Pryor today so they could get a closer look at him and chose to instead send Shawn Kelley to the minors for a couple of weeks. Pryor certainly gave his team a bit to chew on.
Hisashi Iwakuma was in control all the way prior to that, tossing seven innings and allowing just an unearned run on four hits. Iwakuma finally went a game without giving up a home run — the first time he’s done that after 10 straight outings with at least one ball clearing the fence.
Iwakuma retired 12 in a row to start the game, and yeah, who could blame everybody in the ballpark for thinking the obvious? As it is, the M’s took their consecutive batters retired streak to 42 before Justin Morneau’s leadoff double in the fifth.
That inning was the onlyy time the Twins made a real game of it. They cut the lead to 3-1 and had the bases loaded with one out. But Iwakuma struck out Pedro Florimon and Darin Mastroianni (who are these guys?) to end the last real chance Minnesota had.
Those late homers were fun to watch. But with four outs to go and Tom Wilhelmsen warming in the bullpen? Garbage time.
The M’s pretty much had this game from the fifth inning on. They have won three in a row and five of six.
Oh yeah, and Jered Weaver of the Angels got destroyed by the Rays tonight, giving up nine runs in three innings. Felix Hernandez now has a better ERA than Weaver, whose outing might haver cost him the Cy Young Award race with six weeks to go. We’ll know by early October how costly this Weaver start was to his chances, but, I’ll tell you, between his innings total and now, his (still great) ERA getting higher, it’s not looking so good.
August 17, 2012 at 9:47 PM