Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners @ Twins: It's Game No. 30

Think Ken Griffey Jr. likes hitting in the Metrodome? Consider this: He left the American League for 10 years and still remains second in home runs (25) hit here by a visiting player.

That's extraordinary, and he added on to that list in the first series here last month. This series will be Junior's last in the 'dome - next spring the Twins will open their new no-roof outdoor ballpark.

Now, the Mariners try to snap their season-high four-game losing streak behind rookie right-hander Chris Jakubauskas, who has been solid in most of his starts but vulnerable to the big inning.

If he can avoid one tonight, the Mariners should score agains Scott Baker, who opens with a 9.15 ERA.

When Seattle scores first, the team is 10-4.

Buckle up! It's indoor baseball.

Wak ball

It didn't lead to a run, but Don Wakamatsu made it obvious in the first inning that his team is trying to force the action.

After Endy Chavez singled with one out, Jose Lopez fouled off a hit-and-run pitch. With two outs, Chavez stole second with Russell Branyan at the plate.

Branyan struck out. No runs, but the Twins are on notice. The Mariners will push it.

Twins ball

Give Minnesota a point-blank scoring opportunity, you can write down a run or two.

Denard Span singled, Matt Tolbert doubled and there it was - second and third with no out. Joe Mauer grounded out for one run. Justin Morneau flied out for another.

Simple, efficient, lethal.

After one: Twins 2, Mariners 0

Oops, oops and ouch

Jakubauskas got the first out of the second inning, then walked Brian Buscher an Delmon Young. Behind No. 9 hitter Brendan Harris in the count, 3-1, Jakubauskas caught too much plate and Harris hit it out.

The Mariners have two runs in their last two games - and now trail by five.

After two: Twins 5, Mariners 0

About Mr. Baker

Yes, his ERA was astronomical coming in - hell, it's STILL astronomical - but Scott Baker has done one thing remarkably well tonight.

He's thrown strikes.

Sounds simple, but by doing so he's forced Seattle to swing early. They take pitches at their own peril.

How efficient has he been? Through four innings, Baker has thrown 57 pitches - 4 of them strikes. At one point, he threw 21 strikes in 25 pitches.

That works.

Ouch and ouch again

Jakubauskas is gamely trying to get through the fifth, but it's looking doubtful.

Mauer and Morneau went back-to-back with long home runs, and Jason Kubel walked. Out in the bullpen, Miguel Batista is warming up for the third time.

The Mariners rule of thumb: Once a man has been up three times, you get him in or sit him down for good that night.

Batista is coming in.

In the fifth: Twins 7, Mariners 0

It's over

It was over in the first, when the Twins scored two runs, but it's officially over now and the Mariners have lost a season-high five in a row.

They managed five hits, never more than two in an inning.

Looking for a ray of hope? Felix Hernandez starts tomorrow night's game. Of course, without a run, not even Felix can win a game.

Final score: Twins 11, Mariners 0