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News » Mariners-Twins Preview 2009-05-10

Mariners-Twins Preview 2009-05-10

Mariners-Twins Preview 2009-05-10
A home series against the Seattle Mariners appears to be just what the Minnesota Twins needed to get their slumping offense back on track.

Led by Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, the Twins look to continue their home dominance over the Mariners and complete a three-game sweep in Sunday's series finale.

Minnesota (15-16) entered this series losers of five of six and had scored only five runs during a three-game skid. The Twins combined for five runs in the first two innings of Friday's 11-0 win over the Mariners (15-16) and had another impressive offensive outburst in Saturday's 9-6 victory.

Mauer and Morneau hit back-to-back homers for the second straight game for Minnesota, which has won 18 of 24 over Seattle at the Metrodome since 2004.

"He's supposed to be the guy who wins batting titles and I'm supposed to be the guy who hits homers," Morneau said. "It's good to see. Anytime he's hitting homers, we're doing all right."

The Twins have won all three games Mauer has homered in this season and are 16-2 in such games since 2007.

The two-time All-Star catcher is making up for lost time in a hurry after missing the first 22 contests with a back injury. He's hitting .483 (14 for 29) with three doubles and nine RBIs in eight games.

"I think I feel good, I feel strong," said Mauer, who's hitting .433 (26 for 60) with five home runs, 11 RBIs and 18 runs in 16 career home games against the Mariners. "I'm just trying not to do too much."

Morneau is 6 for 12 with three homers and six RBIs in his last four games against the Mariners and is 8 for 19 (.421) with two homers lifetime versus Sunday's scheduled starter Erik Bedard (2-1, 2.37 ERA).

Bedard made his first start of the season against the Twins on April 7, giving up three runs and six hits while striking out eight in five innings of a 6-5 loss, but did not factor in the decision.

The left-hander is 0-5 with a 4.91 ERA in eight career starts against Minnesota - the only team in the AL he has faced and not defeated.

On Tuesday, Bedard allowed one run and seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 7-2, 10-inning loss to Texas. He's given up three runs or less in all six of his starts, but has just two wins to show for it because of minimal run support. He's received three runs or less of support in four outings.

One week ago the Mariners were one of the biggest surprises in baseball with a 2 1/2-game lead in the AL West, but they've lost six straight since to drop 1 1/2 back of first-place Texas.

Although Seattle lost again Friday, its offense finally showed some signs.

Adrian Beltre had three hits and two RBIs - including his first homer since Sept. 7 - for the Mariners, who had scored a total of four runs in their previous four games.

Minnesota's Nick Blackburn (2-2, 5.19) was matched up with Bedard at the Metrodome in April and is set to oppose him again Sunday.

Blackburn gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings in the Twins' victory over the Mariners earlier this season, but was also not a factor in the decision.

The right-hander was tagged for a career-high nine runs - six earned - and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 9-0 loss to Detroit on Tuesday after allowing three runs over 14 innings in winning his previous two starts.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 10, 2009

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