27 degrees at first pitch was the coldest start ever in Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins history. However, with the M’s 3-for-29 the last two games with runners in scoring position, they would have to fight the urge to curl up and fall asleep in the dugout to bust up the scoring iceberg.
Yet, Twins pitcher, Jose Barrios, dawning short sleeves and a curve so wicked he could tell you he was going to throw it and you still couldn’t hit it, appeared to be enjoying the cold as he retired the first 10 batters he faced. However, with one out in the top of the 4th inning, Jean Segura got to second base on a throwing error by Twins’ third baseman, Miguel Sano to break up Barrios’ no-no. Then, team hero and cold weather hater, Robinson Cano became the first to bring the ax down on the scoring iceberg with an RBI to center field. Cano extended his hitting streak to seven games and the M’s were on the board.
Taking a step back for a second, the word is Kyle Seager has spent the past two days enjoying himself in the cold by taking grounders in shorts and a t-shirt. “It’s all in your mind,” is apparently the sub-Artic mantra he’s been touting to keep the boys thinking warm and limber thoughts. Whatever his tactics of self-deception, he struck a matchstick off of the right-field foul pole with a two-run homer to further ignite the Sodo flame.
The Mariners added two more logs to the fire in the 5th with the silky smooth center fielder, Dee Gordon hitting a two-RBI single to bring home Ichiro and Mike Marjama. Dee’s single also extended his hitting streak to seven games and spelled the end for Barrios, as the young pitcher stepped out of the game after 4 1/3 innings of work, giving up five runs on six hits. Tough luck, kid.
Mariners pitcher, Mike Leake competently steered the USS Mariners ice-breaker through frozen waters until giving up two doubles by Mauer and Sano in the bottom of the 6th. The left-hander, Mark Rzepchinksfnrevkjfvn took his place but did little to help the situation by letting two runs score. Luckily for the Mariners, Dan Altavilla came in and canceled the remainder of the Minnesota threat.
With the score now 5-3 the Mariners began the bottom of the 7th with Nick Vincent—who historically the past two seasons had been great, but not so much early in the 2018 season. Nick’s down luck continued after initially striking out the first batter he faced. By the time he was relieved of duty and the ball was tossed into the hands of Juan Nicasio, the bases were loaded with one out.
Skating on a thread, Nicasio chiseled a strikeout and then forced Logan Morrison to pop out in foul territory on a full count. The score remained 5-3, but one got the feeling like the Mariners had some more fuel to burn.
Cano walked, Mitch Haniger Helper hit a single, and then the “never-cold” Kyle Seager hit his 1000th career base hit to load the diamond. Motter strikes out. I groan. Ryon Healy, 1-for-21 on the season comes to the plate and I nearly groan again. But then, the gentle giant bursts out of his hibernation and give the baseball an absolute lashing with a base-clearing double. Ryon clapped his way to second base and smiled. Good job, Ryon.
To seal the deal, my personal favorite, Guillermo “El Conde” Heredia homers off the left field foul pole to complete the Mariners’ pole-to-pole expedition of Target Field. El Conde! The five-run top of the 8th more-or-less buried the Twins in an icy grave. However, they matched our final run in the top of the 9th with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.
11-4 was the final score with the Mariners getting back to their winning ways after a less than exciting two-loss skid. Tomorrow’s game is at 11:10 PST and will be a little warmer, 30-degrees and snowing!