Luke French tossed seven strong innings to help the Seattle Mariners take a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game set.
French (3-4) was charged with just one run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts for the Mariners, who had dropped six of seven coming into the contest. Franklin Gutierrez went 2-for-3 with an RBI while Adam Moore drove in the winning run.
“It was great, timely hitting, that’s the way this game is, you never know and never give up,” said French. “Our guys put some good at bats together and got to (Pavano) a little bit, put up a couple runs and then the bullpen took care of the rest. It was just a clean game today.”
Carl Pavano (15-10) took the loss despite a solid start after giving up two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts over seven innings for the Twins, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Michael Cuddyer’s solo home run accounted for the Minnesota offense.
“Disappointing way to end the series here when you pitch that well, you only gave up two runs, but they pitched pretty well too, I guess,” said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.
Despite the loss, the Twins maintained a 4 1/2 game lead over Chicago, which lost to the Yankees on Sunday, for first place in the AL Central.
The pitchers were dominating the game through the first six innings, but Minnesota got on the board in the seventh on Cuddyer’s solo home run, his 12th of the season.
Seattle, though, answered in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Jose Lopez singled and Casey Kotchman followed with a single. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base and Gutierrez tied the game with a single to left. Moore then hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Kotchman score for a 2-1 lead.
Brandon League came on the mound for Seattle in the eighth and worked around a two-out single by J.J. Hardy.
David Aardsma pitched around a one-out single by Orlando Hudson in the ninth to pick up his 25th save of the season.
Minnesota hosts Detroit for three games starting on Tuesday…The Twins took six of the 10 games against Seattle this season…Seattle hosts the Angels for three games beginning Monday…Pavano fell to 1-2 against Seattle…French improved to 1-1 against Minnesota.