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.