The Minnesota Twins dropped the first game of their road trip Friday night against the Seattle Mariners, 5-3, but will look to pick up a win when they send their ace to the mound Saturday night at Safeco Field.
Twins starter Nick Blackburn continued his dismal season, giving up five earned runs, 11 hits and two home runs in 5.1 innings. Mariners righty Hisashi Iwakuma fared much better, allowing only one unearned run and four hits to go along with six strikeouts in seven innings. Seattle designated hitter John Jaso set the tone in the first inning with a two-out, two-run homer to right field that put the Twins in an early hole.
Left-hander Scott Diamond (10-5, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins, hunting his 11th win of the season. The Mariners will start left-hander Jason Vargas (13-8, 3.56 ERA), who is 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA over his last nine starts.