Twins can't get runners home in 3-2 loss to M's
SEATTLE (AP) — The Twins missed their chance in the ninth, then watched the Seattle Mariners turn theirs into the winning run.
Minnesota was 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position, and Justin Morneau's double-pump of a ninth-inning bunt helped lead to their fourth consecutive loss, 3-2 to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
Seattle outfielder Michael Saunders led off the ninth with a single to right and Brendan Ryan's bunt single put runners at first and second with none out against Tyler Robertson (1-1).
Morneau charged Ryan's bunt, then hesitated prior to the throw, which Ryan beat.
Dustin Ackley walked to load the bases and set up pinch-hitter John Jaso's fly ball to right off Casey Fien to score a tagging Saunders. It was Jaso's second walk-off hit this season.
"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot more than anything else," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen (4-2) got Josh Willingham to fly out to right with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, preserving the tie in a tight game throughout. The Twins left 11 runners on base.
"That will not win you very many games," Gardenhire said.
Minnesota pushed into the lead in the seventh after Joe Mauer's grounder scored Pedro Florimon. Matt Carson and Florimon opened the inning with consecutive singles before Seattle starter Jason Vargas handled Jamey Carroll's bunt attempt to get a close out at third base.
Darin Mastroianni singled to load the bases and Mauer grounded to second. Ackley pivoted to throw to second for the second out, but Ryan's throw to first was late in an attempt to turn a very difficult double play. That allowed Florimon to come in from third and end Vargas' outing.
Vargas threw 6 ? innings, allowed eight hits and two earned runs. He struck out two and walked one.
"I felt good," Vargas said. "They were able to squeeze some balls in there and they were just kind of able to make me grind in the first inning."
Reliever Josh Kinney replaced Vargas and retired Willingham on a grounder to short to keep Minnesota in front just 2-1 in the seventh.
The lead didn't last long. Justin Smoak hit his 14th homer of the season on the 10th pitch of his at-bat to start the bottom of the seventh against Minnesota starter Scott Diamond to tie the game.
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