It ended early Tuesday night at Safeco Field.
The Mariners got a three-run homer in the first inning from Robinson Cano, added two more runs in the third and a seven spot in the fourth. The result was a 12-3 pasting of the Minnesota Twins in the start to a three-game series.
Lefty James Paxton wasn’t particularly sharp in throwing 96 pitches in just five innings. But as he pointed out afterward: "That happens, and it’s a good game to do it when we score 12 runs."
The Mariners have won eight of their last nine, and they are just pounding opponents — outscoring them 69-25 in that span. All this after losing seven of eight while getting outscored 52-9.
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"You go through waves when you don’t swing the bats too well," Kyle Seager observed, "and then you have waves like this. It’s certainly much more fun like this."
Seager had a three-run homer and an RBI double in Tuesday’s victory.
The three-game series continues at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, and the Mariners, with a victory, can pull back to .500 for the first time since May 10.
Three takeaways from Tuesday’s victory:
***Offensive roll: The Mariners aren’t just scoring. They getting production up and down the lineup. Every starter reached base safely at least once. At least eight starters have reached safely in eight of their last nine games.
"The line is moving," manager Scott Servais said. "Walks, a big hit and then somebody pops one. You put big crooked numbers up there, which we’re capable of doing."
***Bullpen muscle: Tony Zych, Dan Altavilla and Nick Vincent combined for four scoreless innings, which continued a recent strong run by the relief corps: eight earned runs in 52 innings over the last 14 games.
That works out to a 1.36 ERA.
***Cruz concerns: The Mariners led 9-2 in the fourth inning when they lifted Nelson Cruz for a pinch-runner. It was a primarily a precaution, but Cruz’s troublesome right hamstring acted up an inning earlier while he ran the bases.
Cruz is expected to play Wednesday, but he’s ticketed for another medical exam when he arrives at the ballpark. So no guarantees.
"He knows his body really well and when to take it easy," Servais said. "We certainly need him in the lineup. That’s why we pulled him out (Tuesday)."
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners