<
>

Mariners send Twins to 10th straight loss

MINNEAPOLIS -- From left field, Mike Carp looked around and saw fellow rookies at third base, shortstop, second base, and center field for the Seattle Mariners.

Alex Liddi, Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley and Trayvon Robinson make up the promising future for the Seattle Mariners and on Tuesday night, they helped provide a pleasant present, too.

Carp had five hits, Liddi hit his second career homer for Seattle and the Mariners beat the Twins 5-4 Tuesday night to send the Twins to their 10th straight loss. Minnesota hasn't had a 10-game losing streak since September 1998.

Adam Kennedy hit a tiebreaking infield single in the seventh inning and Jason Vargas (9-13) pitched six innings, allowing nine hits and four runs, though only three were earned.

"We want to finish strong," Carp said. "We want to show Seattle what we have coming into next year."

The Twins loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Brandon League, but he managed to convert his 35th save in 40 chances on a strikeout and pair of groundouts.

"I don't know if you can get in more of a jam than that, bases loaded up by one," League said. "It doesn't get any more tight than that."

Rene Tosoni and Ben Revere led off with back-to-back singles. Trevor Plouffe laid down a sacrifice bunt, but League wasn't able to corral the ball immediately and threw low to first base, leaving all three runners safe.

League recovered to strike out Michael Cuddyer and got Chris Parmelee to bounce into a fielder's choice at home. Danny Valencia ended the game with a groundout to third.

"We had our opportunity and we didn't come up with a hit there at the end," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They're playing infield in and you figured hard contact is going to at least tie the game up, but it didn't work out for us."

Brian Duensing (9-14) gave up one run in relief for the Twins.

With a runner at third base against Duensing, Kennedy hit a dribbler to the first-base side of the pitcher's mound. Duensing dove, but the ball deflected off of his glove, allowing Seager to score from third.

Duensing, who was making his third relief appearance since coming back from a strained oblique earlier this month, pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

Liddi's homer tied the game at four, providing the chance for Kennedy's swinging bunt to win it.

"Tremendous value, that's why you leave them out there, that's why you want them out there," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said of the rookies receiving big-league exposure. "That situation there, that's about as tight as it gets in a big league ballgame. They experienced it and they stepped up to it.

"Every day is an opportunity to get better, they are learning with each and every day."

Carp is handling his biggest opportunity at the major league level well. Still considered a rookie, Carp had appeared in 35 big league games in two previous seasons and was up for 15 games in June. But since recalled on July 19 he's hitting .305 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs. Of his 68 hits, 27 have been for extra bases.

"I'm getting the chance to play now," Carp said. "I'm in there every day now, pretty much. It's just a big comfort to have that. Before I was always kind of looking over my shoulder, (thinking) 'When am I going to play?' It's just getting comfortable, getting used to the major leagues and the pitching and how they're going to attack me and how I'm going to attack them. It's been a lot of fun."

Game notes
Revere had four hits, and Plouffe and Parmelee had RBI doubles, but the Twins couldn't avoid losing for the 15th time in 16 games. ... Minnesota activated RHP Scott Baker from the disabled list before Tuesday's game and he was available out of the bullpen. ... Seattle manager Eric Wedge said 1B Justin Smoak ran before the game and could be ready to play on Wednesday. Wedge said he hoped to have SS Brendan Ryan (back) and OF Casper Wells (sinus) back by the end of the road trip, which ends Sunday in Texas. ... Twins OF Denard Span (migraine) hopes to return to the lineup in the next few days. Span last played on Aug. 13 and has been limited to 65 games this season. ... Minnesota 1B Justin Morneau had successful surgery Monday to remove a cyst from his knee and a spur from his foot. ... Seattle rookie starter Michael Pineda (9-10, 3.72 ERA) will start Wednesday's game against the Twins in his final start of the season. The 22-year-old will be shut down for the season following his 28th start of the year. He's lost three straight decisions, and hasn't won since July 30. ... Kevin Slowey (0-6, 6.51 ERA) starts for Minnesota. The right-hander has lost six straight starts, the most consecutive losses by a Twins starter since Boof Bonser lost eight in a row in 2007. ... A combined 12 rookies started the game.