MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Lew Ford found the problem with his swing
watching video behind the Twins' dugout, and got immediate results
from a small change in his approach.
The Twins completed their second three-game sweep of the season.
The other was April 11-13 against Oakland at the Metrodome. The
Mariners have been swept four times this year.
Ford's homer, a 414-foot drive to right-center, was his second
of the season and first since April 21. It came on a 1-2 pitch from
Guardado (0-3), who played for the Twins for 11 seasons before
signing with the Mariners in 2003.
"It was a good way to end it," said Ford, mired in a 3-for-19
slump before the homer. "I was trying to make contact and got a
good one to hit. I've just not been hitting as well as I'd like.
When something like this happens, it really boosts your
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire suggested to Ford that he watch
video of his prior at-bats on a monitor behind the dugout before
going up to the plate in the 10th.
"I've watched him long enough to know when he's falling down --
he's collapsing on his right knee," Gardenhire said. "I just told
him to stay back and drive the ball."
Said Ford: "He gave me a couple of tips there. I guess they did
Guardado, who was demoted to part-time closer earlier this
season, had been pitching well of late, not allowing a run in his
past seven innings. Afterward, he lit into himself and his team,
which has lost five straight.
Guardado said it's embarrassing "not just for me, but the
entire team. I think today we should have killed those guys, even
with their best pitcher going.
"This three-game series absolutely was not good baseball."
Minnesota's Joe Nathan (3-0) got out of a jam in the 10th to
earn the victory.
The Mariners squandered their chances in the late innings to go
In the 10th, Nathan allowed back-to-back singles to Suzuki and
Lopez to start the inning.
Nathan was then helped by two outstanding plays in the outfield.
Right fielder Michael Cuddyer made a nice catch on a drive by Raul
Ibanez, and Suzuki failed to tag and advance to third because he
was too far off second. Center fielder Torii Hunter then leaped
against the fence to snag a drive by Richie Sexson. Nathan retired
Adrian Beltre on a flyball to end the threat.
"Torii's catch?" Nathan said. "That was routine for him."
The Mariners had another golden chance to grab the lead in the
Suzuki hit a one-out triple. With Lopez at the plate, Seattle
tried a suicide squeeze. Suzuki broke toward home with the pitch,
but Lopez popped it up to pitcher Johan Santana, who caught the
ball and threw it to third baseman Luis Rodriguez for a double
"The pitch was by my hat. It was too high," Lopez said. "But
Ichiro was coming to the plate, so what can I do?"
After Ibanez hit a sacrifice fly to put the Mariners up 3-2 in
the fifth, the Twins tied it in the sixth. Mauer led off the inning
with a ground-rule double off starter Joel Pineiro. Mauer moved to
third on Hunter's groundout and scored on Mike Redmond's sacrifice
Pineiro, who had a 10.93 ERA in losing his past three starts
coming in, gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"I had pretty good location on my pitches," Pineiro said. "I
kept the ball down. The only big mistake I made was the homer to
Santana, who had won four of his last five starts, allowed three
runs and eight hits in seven innings. He had five strikeouts to
improve his AL-leading total to 80.
"He didn't have his best stuff, but he gave us seven solid
innings," Gardenhire said.
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove rested Carl Everett because
"his legs were a little weary" and Hargrove didn't want the DH to
play another game on the Metrodome's artificial turf. ... Mauer was
in the lineup as a DH for the third time this season. ... Minnesota
manager Ron Gardenhire sat 3B Tony Batista, who has batted just
.150 (3-for-20) against Pineiro.