MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — On a frigid afternoon at Target Field, relief pitchers had no trouble warming up.
They simply abandoned the bullpens and found a more comfortable spot to get loose.
It was a Twins-record low of 27 degrees at gametime Saturday as the Seattle Mariners beat Minnesota 11-4.
Because of the below-freezing chill, relievers moved out of the shaded bullpens in left-center field. Instead, they got ready in the indoor batting cages near the clubhouses.
When summoned, they ran to the mound from the dugout.
“The bullpens were probably 15-20 degrees colder. There’s no sun down there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “MLB worked with us on that, as did the Twins. It was the right thing to do.”
Both teams employed five relievers on a day when facemasks and hooded sweatshirts were a standard part of the uniforms.
“That’s the coldest ballgame I’ve ever been a part of,” Servais said.
The first-pitch temperature beat the Minnesota mark of 31 degrees for a game in 2014. The Twins began playing outdoors in 1961 at Metropolitan Stadium — from 1982-2009, their home was inside the Metrodome.
Coors Field in Denver holds the major league low with a 23-degree day in April 2013 when Atlanta visited the Rockies.
“I was getting picked on a lot of the time for having a hoodie on,” Mariner center fielder Dee Gordon said. “Then we went out, and everybody on their team had a hoodie on. I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t feel so bad.'”
Kyle Seager and Guillermo Heredia homered, and Ryon Healy drove in three runs as the Mariners helped Mike Leake (2-0) win again.
Seattle didn’t manage a hit against Twins starter Jose Berrios (1-1) through three innings. Robinson Cano had an RBI single in the fourth and Seager connected for a 3-0 lead.
The Mariners added two more runs in the fifth off Berrios when Gordon rolled a two-run single through a drawn-in infield to make it 5-0.
Berrios was pulled from the game after 4 2/3 innings — his shaky start came one outing after he tossed a shutout in his season debut at Baltimore.
“The early part of the game, I thought Jose threw the ball fairly well,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “He got hurt when he got behind on a couple of good hitters.”
Minnesota chipped away with a three-run sixth inning. Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano led off with back-to-back doubles, and Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar followed with RBI singles.
The Twins threatened in the seventh by loading the bases with one out but couldn’t push across another run against Seattle’s bullpen.
The Mariners added insurance during a five-run eighth inning, including a three-run double by Healy and a two-run homer by Heredia.
Before the game, Molitor was presented with his trophy for being chosen as the AL Manager of the Year in 2017.
“It’s a very nice award,” Molitor said. “For any manager to be in that conversation and have a chance to take home that hardware, a lot of other people did their jobs really well.”
Molitor led the Twins to an 85-77 record and a wild-card slot after the team won just 59 games one year earlier.
1,000 HITS FOR SEAGER
Seager picked up his 1,000th career hit with a single in the eighth. He became the ninth player in Mariners history to reach that milestone.
“That’s pretty special,” he said. “That’s something I’m pretty proud of.”
Seager now needs just 2,085 more hits to match teammate Ichiro Suzuki.
“At the rate I’m going, I think if I play until I’m about 73, I think I’ll catch him,” he said.
Mariners: C Mike Zunino (right oblique strain) could join the team when the Mariners return to Seattle next week after their current road trip, Servais said. He was eligible to return from the disabled list on Saturday.
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes (strained left oblique) threw a side session after pitching five innings in a rehab assignment Thursday in Fort Myers, Florida. Manager Paul Molitor said the team will continue to monitor Hughes on a day-to-day basis. … RHP Ervin Santana (finger) will fly back to Minneapolis on Tuesday to be examined by team doctors.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (1-0, 4.26 ERA) makes his second start of the year after earning a win in 6 1/3 innings against San Francisco.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (0-1, 11.25) is looking to bounce back from his first start with the Twins, a loss against Pittsburgh.
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