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News » Minnesota Twins' bashing continues in 9-6 victory over Mariners

Minnesota Twins' bashing continues in 9-6 victory over Mariners

Minnesota Twins' bashing continues in 9-6 victory over Mariners
For one night, the departure from Minnesota's small-ball ways to a lineup drenched with home run mashers was exciting. A couple of three-run shots, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau going deep in back-to-back at-bats? Thrilling.

Two consecutive nights? Bizarre.

Minnesota entered its series against the Seattle Mariners with 19 home runs in 29 games this season, second fewest in the American League. Before Friday, they had gone five straight games without so much as one solo shot eking over a fence.

Now, they've hit seven homers in their past two games. On Friday they exploded for four, and Jason Kubel came inches away from making it five. In Saturday's 9-6 victory over the Mariners, they muscled three more, and Kubel came less than a foot, perhaps, from making it four.

Michael Cuddyer broke open a 6-5 game with a three-run shot to a part of the Metrodome -- deep, deep left field -- usually touched only when those traveling softball sideshows come to town.

Two innings before, Mauer and Morneau again homered in succession, and again Kubel nearly made it three straight, flying out to the edge of the warning track immediately after Minnesota's MM boys rounded the bases.

The Twins have scored 13 runs off homers in two games.

Consider this -- it took Mauer more than 250 at-bats last season to reach three home runs. This year, it took him 28. In 2008, he averaged one home run every 60 at-bats. In 2009, he's averaging one home run every 9.7 at-bats. On Saturday Mauer went 2 for 3, and he has 14 hits in 29 at-bats this season, a .483 average and a 1.442 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

Not all of the Twins repeated Friday's results.

In an Opening Day rematch, Francisco Liriano dueled Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, and for the first three innings, Liriano dominated. The left-hander went three-up, three-down for three straight frames, but after he tagged Ichiro Suzuki with a 2-2 fastball to lead off the fourth, the transition was stark. After retiring the first nine batters he faced, Liriano put nine of his last 14 on base.

He gave up three runs (one a solo homer to designated hitter Mike Sweeney) on three hits and two walks before wriggling loose from a bases-loaded jam to end the fourth. In the fifth his failings continued -- three hits, two runs, and, after just 77 pitches, an end to a night that had started so brilliantly.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 10, 2009

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