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.