Unable to build on their impressive 10-0 victory on Wednesday, the Minnesota Twins fell to the Mariners on Thursday afternoon in the fourth and final game of their series, 5-4.
Twins hitters knocked Seattle starter Blake Beavan around for a pair of runs in the opening frame, but could not muster another score against the talented right-hander over the next six innings. Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham finally stepped to the plate and belted his 33rd home run of the season in the eighth inning to pull the game within a mere run, but Ron Gardenhire's lineup ultimately could not break through against Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen in the end.
The 33-year-old Willingham, who now has 96 runs batted in this year, has already smacked 14 bombs since the All-Star break, despite seeing his average dip slightly in the month of August. Aside from Willingham's inspired play however, the Twins just don't seem to be getting consistent production from some of the other big bats in their lineup, and it's starting to become evident in their second-half record.
Next up for Gardenhire's gang is a three-game series with a confident Kansas City squad at Kauffman Stadium on Friday. Cole De Vries will get the ball in the first game of the set in search of his fourth victory of 2012.
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