Moore hits a pair of home runs as Mariners outlast Twins
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dylan Moore hit a pair of home runs, including a three-run blast in the fifth inning, and the Seattle Mariners survived a Minnesota Twins' rally for an 8-7 win Wednesday and a series victory.
Julio Rodríguez added a home run and two doubles as the Mariners won for the fifth time in their past seven games. The AL Central-leading Twins dropped their second in a row following a four-game winning streak.
On a hot afternoon in the Twin Cities that saw seven home runs and 22 combined hits, Moore finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs and his first multi-home run outing. The fifth-year pro came into the day hitting .128 in 20 games this season.
“It's challenging whether you had a whole spring training or just came off the IL,” said Moore, who had offseason core surgery and began the season on the injured list. "I just kind of had to find a different way to get prepared for the season.
“I like where I’m at now.”
Moore's three-run homer off reliever Jordan Balazovic in the fifth inning gave Seattle a 7-3 lead.
Mariners rookie right-hander Bryce Miller (7-3) struck out seven while yielding six earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Minnesota's Matt Wallner hit his second home run of the day — a solo shot to left for his own first career multi-homer game — off Miller in a four-running sixth inning for the Twins.
Andrés Muñoz earned his second save after coaxing Max Kepler's game-ending ground-out with a runner at second.
“Interesting game, interesting series,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “Obviously, the Twins are one of the hottest teams in baseball coming out of the (All-Star) break, so to get in here and win two out of three — you look at all three games, we could have won all three, we could've easily lost all three — and end up winning the series, you feel good about it.”
Twins starter Joe Ryan (9-7) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, yielding four earned runs on seven hits and striking out seven batters. He required 95 pitches to record 11 outs.
Recalled from Triple-A St. Paul on Wednesday, reliever Josh Winder gave a depleted Twins bullpen four innings of relief. He surrendered one earned run and struck out four batters.
“Somehow, we're sitting there a swing away from winning the ballgame after all of that,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “That's almost hard to believe, but we put ourselves in a good position. There was never any quit.”
Seattle acquired RHP reliever Trent Thornton from Toronto in exchange for minor league IF Mason McCoy. Thornton has appeared in four games this season for the Blue Jays, allowing one earned run in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Over parts of five seasons with Toronto, Thornton has appeared in 108 games, including 37 appearances in 2021 and 32 last year.
The Mariners said Thornton would be optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.
McCoy, 29, spent the past two seasons at Tacoma. He was hitting .234 with 11 homers this season.
Seattle also transferred LHP Marco Gonzales to the 60-day injured list to clear a 40-man spot for Thornton.
Twins: A day after being named AL player of the week, 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff was scratched from the lineup Wednesday with a sore shoulder. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Kirilloff tweaked the shoulder on a diving play in the past week. Kirilloff will likely return for Minnesota's series at Kansas City.
INF Jorge Polanco was scheduled to make his final rehab appearance Wednesday in Triple-A St. Paul, then join Minnesota for its six-game road trip to Kansas City and St. Louis. Baldelli expects Polanco, who has been out since June 9 with a left hamstring injury, to be activated during the trip.
DH Byron Buxton will also rejoin the team for the series against the Royals. Buxton has been on the paternity list since he and his wife celebrated the birth of their third child.
Joey Gallo left Wednesday's game due to illness.
Mariners: Off Thursday ahead of a three-game series at Arizona. RHP Logan Gilbert (8-5, 3.55 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday for Seattle. The Diamondbacks have yet to announce a starting pitcher.
Twins: After flying out Wednesday evening, Minnesota will spend an off day in Kansas City before six games in seven days in Missouri. RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 3.15 ERA) is expected to start for the Twins against Royals RHP Brady Singer (6-8, 5.55 ERA).
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