Iwakuma solid as Mariners top Twins 2-0
Mariners 2, Twins 0: Mike Zunino and Michael Saunders homered while Hisashi Iwakuma struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings as host Seattle blanked Minnesota in the opener of a four-game series.
Twins starter Kevin Correia made two mistakes on 3-2 pitches with Zunino clubbing one over the wall in left in the second inning and later allowing Saunders’ two-out blast to center in the seventh. Correia (4-11) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings as the Twins lost for the 11th time in 14 games.
Iwakuma (7-4) continued his mastery of Minnesota by allowing four hits and walking none in a 105-pitch effort as the Mariners won for the sixth time in eight games. The right-hander is 5-0 in five all-time outings against the Twins and hasn’t allowed an earned run while giving up 20 hits in 33 2/3 innings.
Danny Farquhar struck out two in the eighth and Fernando Rodney fanned two in a perfect ninth to raise his American League-best save count to 26. Rodney has converted 15 consecutive save opportunities dating back to a blown one against Tampa Bay on May 13.
Minnesota threatened in the seventh when slow-footed Kendrys Morales led off the inning with a single but was unable to score on Oswaldo Arcia’s double into the right-center field gap. Iwakuma escaped damage by inducing Chris Colabello to bounce to third and striking out Sam Fuld before the bullpen took over.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Seattle 3B Kyle Seager was added to the American League All-Star squad to replace injured Edwin Encarnacion of Toronto. … Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco (elbow) returned to Minnesota for an examination after once again experiencing soreness during Sunday’s start. … Arcia had two of the Twins’ four hits while Seattle finished with just five.