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July 10, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Twins 4, Mariners 2 — mistakes and lack of hitting result in another loss

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BOX SCORE … 07.10.14 Box Score

People can blame the change in the rotation, you can blame the presence of Corey Hart in the lineup, you can blame the absence of John Buck in the clubhouse (isn’t Twitter great?).

But really, the Mariners didn’t play well enough to win tonight.

1. They had 12 hits and scored two runs. They stranded 10 runners and went 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position. That hit didn’t score a run.

“We got 12 hits and I feel like we lined out a bunch,” said Logan Morrison. “We had runners on and we had our chances. But I think if we keep going with this approach and keep getting guys on, good things are going to happen.”

Corey Hart went 1-for-4, but twice he came up with bases loaded and two outs and ended the inning, striking out and grounding out.

Hart is 5-for-25 with no extra base hits and one RBI since being activated from the disabled list.

“He’s fighting himself a little bit,” McClendon said. “His last at-bat was better. He stayed on the ball better and got a hit to right-center. We need Corey Hart. We have to continue to run him out there. He’ll get better.”

2. Defensive miscues by Mike Zunino and James Jones directly or indirectly led to all four of the Twins runs.

Zunino on his wayward throw into left field on a double steal: “I thought I was going to have enough room to clear (Suzuki),” Zunino said. “But the pitch happened to be inside and he spun with it and I had to change my arm angle at the last minute and the ball sailed on me. It’s probably best if I don’t throw that ball.”

To be fair, Tom Wilhelmsen also did a poor job of keeping the runners close, knowing his delivery to home with the high leg kick is one of the slowest on the team.

Jones on the ball from Kendrys Morales that got over his head in center (video):  “It was just a bad read,” Jones said. “It was hit hard and my first step should have been back instead of trying to read it. It was hit well enough where I should have went back right away. We could have been out of that inning.”

3. Jones had a costly baserunning miscue in the seventh inning. He tried to tag from second on Kyle Seager’s sac fly to left field. Trevor Plouffe wisely cut it off and flipped to third. Jones was initially ruled safe. But replay overturned the gall. (video)

“That’s wrong on my part there,” Jones said. “We were down three runs at the time. If it was reversed and we were wining and need some insurance runs, I could have been aggressive. In  that situation, I should have played it safe.”

McClendon knows it’s part of what comes with starting a rookie.

“That’s part of the growing pains,” McClendon said. “He’s going to make some mistakes and that was one of them. I doubt if he’ll make that mistake ever again cause you learn from them.”

Michael Saunders left the game in the eighth inning after tweaking lower side or back on a checked swing. McClendon said he’ll have a MRI tomorrow. That’s not good. The Mariners already had a short bench to begin with. If Saunders can’t go, they may have to make a move. I’m guessing it would Stefen Romero. But who knows.

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