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Twins Defeat Mariners To Snap Eleven-Game Skid

The Minnesota Twins snapped their 11-game losing streak, the third-longest streak in team history, on Thursday afternoon at Target Field against the Seattle Mariners, as Rene Tosoni's double in the bottom of the ninth brought home Trevor Plouffe to give Minnesota a 3-2 victory. The win was only the third for Minnesota in the month of September.

Things got off to a rocky start for the Twins, as Justin Smoak blooped to center field between three Twins with two out in the top of the first to score Ichiro Suzuki and give the Mariners an early 1-0 lead. On the play, Plouffe slid in an attempt to catch the ball, and wound up taking an inadvertent knee to the head from teammate Ben Revere. Ichiro added a sacrifice fly for the Mariners in the top of the second to make the score 2-0, and it looked like the Twins were on their way to another loss.

Minnesota got one back in the bottom of the third, when Drew Butera grounded into a double play that allowed Tosoni to score and cut the Seattle lead to 2-1. Butera was also responsible for tying the game, as he laced a single to left field in the bottom of the fifth to again score Tosoni and tie the game at two. That's how things stayed until the bottom of the ninth, when Seattle reliever Steve Delbar came into the game.

It didn't look like the ninth inning would amount to much for Minnesota. Chris Parmelee led it off with a single, and Luke Hughes came in to pinch run. Danny Valencia then grounded into a fielder's choice that forced Hughes at second for the first out, and Valencia was then promptly caught trying to steal second for out number two. However, Plouffe was able to work a walk from Delbar, and Tosoni came to the plate. Tosoni then hit a line drive that made it to the fence in right-center field, allowing Plouffe to score from first and snapping one of the longest droughts in Minnesota Twins' history.

Joe Nathan, who pitched the ninth inning for the Twins and allowed one hit, picked up the victory for Minnesota to move his record on the season to 2-1 on the year. Delbar took the loss, evening his record for the year at 1-1.

The Twins will head to Cleveland for their final road series of 2011, a four-game set against the Indians at Progressive Field, including a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. The first game of the series will get underway at 6:05 PM on Friday night, and the pitching match-up will see right-hander Justin Masterson (12-10, 3.15 ERA) take the mound for Cleveland, while Minnesota will counter with righty Carl Pavano (8-13, 4.40 ERA).


Snakebitten Slowey Loses Again As Twins Drop Eleventh Straight

Things looked good early for the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night at Target Field against the Seattle Mariners, just as they had the night before. Things were even looking good for Kevin Slowey, the man who hadn't won since coming back to the Twins in August and had dropped six consecutive starts. Unfortunately, in the end, things wound up exactly the same on Wednesday as they did on Tuesday, right down to the final score.

The Twins dropped their eleventh consecutive game on Wednesday night, falling to the Mariners by the same 5-4 score that they lost by on Wednesday. Again the Twins had the lead early, and again their starter fell apart to let the opposing team back into the game.

Minnesota struck first in this one, as Chris Parmelee's RBI single in the bottom of the first brought home Ben Revere and gave the Twins an early 1-0 lead. Joe Benson added an RBI double in the bottom of the second to score Trevor Plouffe and extend the lead to 2-0.

The score would stay that way until the top of the sixth inning. Slowey had a no-hitter at that point, and quickly retired the first two batters of the inning to keep it going. Ichiro Suzuki broke up the no-hit bid with an infield single, and he came home on Kyle Seager's double to cut Minnesota's lead to 2-1. Dustin Ackley then followed that up with another double to score Seager and tie the game at two before Slowey got out of the inning.

The Mariners took the lead in the top of the seventh. Justin Smoak led off the inning with a single, and was lifted for pinch-runner Wily Mo Pena. Miguel Olivo then followed that with another single, and Adam Kennedy sacrificed the runners to second and third. After Slowey retired Adam Liddi on strikes, Trayvon Robinson laced a single to right to score Pena and Olivo to give the Mariners a 4-2 lead. Slowey was lifted at that point for Phil Dumatrait, who promptly gave up a double to Ichiro, scoring Robinson and extending Seattle's lead to 5-2.

Minnesota got a little closer in the bottom of the eighth on Brian Dinkelman's RBI single, cutting the Seattle lead to 5-3. The Twins appeared to be rallying in the bottom of the ninth, as Parmelee and Michael Cuddyer reach on back-to-back singles with one out, putting runners on the corners. Danny Valencia lifted a fly ball to center that wasn't deep enough to score the run for the second out, but Plouffe came through with a single to score Parmelee and make it a 5-4 game. League regrouped, however, and retired Dinkelman on a roller in front of home plate to end the game.

Slowey ended up taking the loss, his seventh in a row since rejoining the Twins. The eleven-game losing streak the Twins are currently on is now the third-longest in team history, behind a 14-game slide in 1982 and a 13-game skid in 1961. The lone highlight of the night would have to be Parmelee, who went 3-for-4 on the evening, raising his average to .413 during his time in Minnesota.

The Twins will try to keep things from getting any worse on Thursday afternoon, the last day game at Target Field this season. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PM Central time. The pitching match-up for this one will see right-hander Anthony Swarzak (3-7, 4.52 ERA) take the ball for the Twins, while righty Blake Beavan (5-5, 3.92 ERA) will go to the hill for Seattle.


Mariners' Comeback Victory Sends Twins To Tenth Straight Defeat

The Minnesota Twins accomplished something on Tuesday night that they had not accomplished in 13 years, as their 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Target Field was their tenth consecutive defeat. Prior to now, the last time the Twins had lost ten games in a row was from September 9 to September 19, 1998.

Both teams started the game off with a two-spot in the first inning, as the Mariners scored a pair thanks to an RBI single by shortstop Kyle Seager and a double by left fielder Mike Carp. The Twins answered back in the bottom half of the frame with RBI doubles by Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee to even the score at two. Ben Revere's RBI single in the bottom of the fourth put Minnesota ahead by a score of 3-2, and Parmelee followed up with another RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to push the lead to 4-2.

The Mariners got it back in the top of the sixth, however, as Twins' starter Liam Hendriks served up a two-run homer to Seattle shortstop Alex Liddi to tie the score at four runs each. Hendriks was then lifted for Brian Duensing. In the top of the seventh with the bases loaded, Mariners' first baseman Adam Kennedy executed a sort of swinging bunt that managed to get past a diving Duensing and bring home Seager for a 5-4 Seattle lead.

That would be all of the scoring for the evening, but the Twins had a chance in the bottom of the ninth against Seattle reliever Brandon League. Pinch-hitter Rene Tosoni led off the inning with a single, and Revere followed that with a single of his own to put runners on first and second. Trevor Plouffe then attempted to sacrifice the runners over, but wound up being safe at first on a throwing error by League, loading the bases with nobody out.

However, in typical 2011 Twins fashion, nothing came from it. Michael Cuddyer struck out for the first out, Parmelee grounded one back to League to force Tosoni out at the plate, and Danny Valencia grounded out to third to end the threat and give the victory to the Mariners.

Seattle starter Jason Vargas picked up the victory for the Mariners, moving his record on the year to 9-13. The save for League was his 35th on the season. Duensing took the loss for Minnesota, dropping his mark on the year to 9-14.

The second game of this three-game set will take place on Wednesday night at Target Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM. The Mariners will send right-hander Michael Pineda (9-10, 3.72 ERA) to the hill, and the Twins will turn to right-hander Kevin Slowey (0-6, 6.51 ERA) to try to halt their losing streak.


Twins' Losing Streak Could Reach Double Digits Against Mariners

The Twins' season is almost over, and Twinkie Town has got you covered.

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