Mariners Hand Twins 11th Straight Loss, 5-4

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki stopped Kevin Slowey’s no-hitter with a two-out infield single in the sixth inning and added an RBI double in the seventh, spurring the Seattle Mariners to a 5-4 victory Wednesday night in Minnesota, the 11th straight defeat for the Twins.

This is the third-longest losing streak in Minnesota’s 51-season history, behind a 14-game skid in 1982 and 13 in a row in 1961, the first year here after the franchise moved from Washington. The Twins (59-95) need two more wins to top their worst finish in Minnesota, 60-102 in 1982.

Brandon League, who escaped a ninth-inning, no-out, bases-loaded situation to preserve the win the night before, gave up a two-out RBI single to Trevor Plouffe before retiring Brian Dinkelman on a roller in front of the plate with two runners on.

League has 36 saves in 41 attempts this season. This was the first run he’s allowed against the Twins in 16 innings.

Trayvon Robinson’s two-run, two-out single in the seventh inning gave the Mariners the lead and sent Slowey (0-7) off the mound. He has lost all seven starts since he was recalled from Triple-A and reinserted in the rotation he helped anchor the past three-plus years. The right-hander began the season in the bullpen, got hurt and was sent to the minors to rehabilitate until returning a month ago.

Suzuki was the only baserunner to reach over the first five innings, when shortstop Trevor Plouffe dropped the ball for an error while taking it out of his glove to start his throw. Kyle Seager and Dustin Ackley followed Suzuki’s single in the sixth with consecutive sharply hit doubles, and Slowey’s lead was suddnely gone.

Slowey hasn’t walked a batter in his last 22 innings, and he struck out six, but this was another familiar start — breezing through the early innings and hitting a big bump.

Slowey threw seven no-hit innings at Target Field last season, pulled before he could finish the feat that afternoon as a precaution because of elbow tendinitis that caused him to miss the previous start.

Mariners starter Michael Pineda, in his final appearance of what has been a fine rookie season, gave up six hits, two walks and two runs while striking out two over four innings. He threw 81 pitches.

This was Pineda’s 28th start, and the 22-year-old Dominican finished with 173 strikeouts in 171 innings with a 3.74 ERA. He had four no-decisions and three defeats over his final seven starts, but that was largely due to a lack of run support.

Twins rookie Chris Parmelee had three hits, including an RBI single. In 13 games, the 2006 first-round draft pick has nine RBIs. Another rookie, Joe Benson, hit an RBI double in the fourth inning. Dinkelman drove in a run with a single in the eighth.

But the Twins still struggled to come through in the clutch. They went 4 for 18 with runners in scoring position, and they’re just 24 for 151 — for a .159 batting average — while losing 16 of their last 17 games.

Plouffe grounded into a 1-2-3 double play with no outs and the bases loaded in the fifth, and Dinkelman grounded out to end that inning.

NOTES: Mariners DH Justin Smoak returned to the lineup after missing the last week because of a sore groin. Manager Eric Wedge wants to work him in slowly before putting him at 1B. … The Twins passed the 3 million mark in paid attendance for the second straight season and the third in franchise history. Their first was 1988. … Of the 29 players suited up for this series for the Mariners, 17 of them weren’t with the team when they visited Minnesota in May. … RH Anthony Swarzak (3-7) pitches for the Twins in the series finale, the last day game of the season at Target Field, against Mariners RH Blake Beaven (5-5). Beaven is coming off an eight-inning shutout victory over division-leading Texas. Swarzak hasn’t won since Aug. 3.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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