MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins sent 11 batters to the plate in a six-run sixth inning to break open a tie game and went on the beat the Seattle Mariners 10-5 on Thursday in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Nelson Cruz went 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs, and Michael Pineda gave up one run on two hits and two walks in 5.2 innings for Minnesota, which has lost only one series at home this season, 3-1, to Toronto on April 15-18.
Seattle starter Yusei Kikuchi got out of a bases-loaded, no-outs situation with two strikeouts and a groundout in the second inning and gave up just one run, on Cruz’s solo homer in the third, before leaving after five innings. He walked two and struck out four.
The Twins opened it up off one of baseball’s worst bullpens, scoring six times in the sixth and another three in the seventh off four relievers. Max Kepler drove in two runs with singles, and C.J. Cron plated two with an eighth-inning home run, his 15th of the season.
Ehire Adrianza singled and advanced to third on a throwing error and wild pitch from right-hander Brandon Brennan, and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Jason Castro.
Ryne Harper (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Pineda to earn the victory. Brennan (2-6) took the loss.
Right-hander Fernando Romero, recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, was charged with two runs after allowing all four batters he faced to reach base on two hits and two walks. Matt Magill allowed two ninth-inning runs on a walk and two hits, including Kyle Seager’s two-run, two-out double.
The Twins start a three-game series against Kansas City at Target Field on Friday.