SEATTLE (AP) - Just three days after being no-hit by Jered Weaver, the Twins bats were nearly as helpless against Seattle starter Felix Hernandez.
Hernandez and Steve Delabar combined for the 13th one-hitter in Seattle history, helping the Mariners break a seven-game losing streak with a 7-0 win over the Twins on Saturday night.
Only Denard Span's fourth-inning roller through the right side kept Hernandez from chasing history. Hernandez (3-1) struck out nine and walked two.
In his past four outings, Hernandez has allowed 15 hits and two earned runs in 31 innings with 32 strikeouts. His ERA dropped to 1.89.
``You go through spells in a season like this,' Minnesota acting manager Scott Ullger said. ``Hitting is contagious and lack of hitting is contagious.'
Minnesota's offense took another blow when Justin Morneau continued to experience pain in his right wrist Saturday. Morneau had surgery on the wrist in October.
The Twins will place Morneau on the 15-day disabled list Monday, retroactive to May 1. Brian Dozier will be called up from Triple-A Rochester to replace Morneau on the roster Monday.
Jason Marquis (2-1) threw six innings, allowed two runs, four hits and tied a career-high with six walks for the Twins on Saturday.
Three double plays helped Marquis limit the Mariners offense.
But Kyle Seager's two-run single in the sixth gave Seattle the lead. Seager went 2 for 4, including his fourth home run, and drove in four runs for the second time in four days.
``I fell behind Seager, left it up, and that's the way it goes,' Marquis said.
The Mariners loaded the bases in the seventh on two walks and a bunt single by Michael Saunders. A sacrifice fly to left field by Brendan Ryan scored pinch-runner Casper Wells to push Seattle in front 3-0.
That ended a short night for Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak, who threw one-third of an inning, and allowed three earned runs. Minnesota brought in left-handed reliever Matt Maloney to face left-handed Ichiro Suzuki.
Ichiro tripled into the right-center field gap to score Dustin Ackley and Saunders. Seager followed with his homer to right field off Jeff Gray, who took over for Maloney.
Gray played part of last season for the Mariners, which gave Seager strong knowledge of his repertoire.
Swarzak, Maloney and Gray combined for one inning and five earned runs.
``It was a good game for about 6 2/3 innings,' Ullger said.
The seven runs scored by Seattle on Saturday were one more than it totaled in Hernandez's past three outings.
``Awesome, awesome, awesome,' Hernandez said of the run support.
The Twins loaded the bases against Hernandez in the fourth inning. Span singled and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Joe Mauer grounded out, Hernandez walked Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit to load the bases. Hernandez escaped the jam when he got Chris Parmelee to fly out.
Mauer came into the game 13 for 26 with two homers, four doubles and 7 RBIs in his career against Hernandez. He was 0 for 3 against him Saturday.
``He was just nasty,' Mauer said of Hernandez. ``He was hitting his spots and a lot of movement on his pitches.'
Marquis walked Saunders and Ackley to open the bottom of the third. But Ryan failed to bunt the runners over and eventually struck out. Then Ichiro ended the inning by grounding into a 4-6-3 double play.
Marquis got the Mariners to ground into a double play during the second, third and fourth innings.
There have been 13 one-hitters in Mariners history, 10 thrown by one pitcher and three combined.
The most recent Mariners' one-hitter thrown by one pitcher was by Jarrod Washburn on July 6, 2009.
Michael Pineda, Gray and Brandon League combined to hold Tampa Bay to one hit in a 3-2 win July 30, 2011.
``Bottom line though, you only get one hit, you're not going to win too many games,' Ullger said.
Notes: A day after being claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals, Erik Komatsu started in right field and hit eighth for the Twins. ... Coming into Saturday, Seattle catcher Jesus Montero was hitting .469 in the nine games he has caught. ... Friday's win by Minnesota was the first time the Twins won this season (1-12) when being outhit by their opponent.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved