video thumbnail

SEA@MIN: Diamond shines over six scoreless frames

MINNEAPOLIS -- There was no shortage of offense Sunday afternoon as the Twins steamrolled the Mariners, 10-0, in their series finale at Target Field.

The Twins knocked in their runs on 16 hits, including homers from Ryan Doumit, Chris Herrmann, Josh Willingham and Brian Dozier. This provided more than enough support for Scott Diamond, who threw six scoreless innings to keep the Mariners at bay.

"Today was a really, really good performance team-wise, defensively, the whole package," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You know a good win and we're on a nice little streak and you've got to continue that."

Diamond gave up just four hits, one walk and struck out three. The outing brought his ERA down from 5.22 to 4.66. Diamond admittedly had a tough first inning where he gave up three of his four hits and faced five batters -- the most he faced in an inning all afternoon.

With a solid defense backing him up, Diamond settled in after the first and cruised through the next five frames.

"After those first couple innings I was able to get in a rhythm and just get back to what I know best," Diamond said. "The defense was huge tonight, and I think with the way things have been going lately with me personally, the way the offense just came alive today and put early runs on the board made it a lot easier for me to try to get back out there and keep the game moving."

Mariners manager Eric Wedge noted that they couldn't have hit the ball any better than they did in the first, but couldn't replicate that initial offense throughout the rest of the game.

"We made the mistake of getting picked off there [in the first], but came out swinging the bats well and didn't have anything to show for it," Wedge said. "Then he settled in. I feel like we had a lot of hard outs today, but were never able to get anything going."

Where Diamond excelled, Mariners starter Jeremy Bonderman struggled. Bonderman, who was making his first start since Oct. 1 2010 with the Tigers, gave up seven runs on nine hits through 4 2/3 innings.

After Bonderman faced the minimum in the first inning, Doumit led off the second with a shot to left field. Three batters later, Brian Dozier hit an RBI double down the left-field line, driving in Herrmann, who reached on a fielder's choice one batter earlier. Aaron Hicks followed Dozier with an RBI double of his own, this time to right-center, to give the Twins a 3-0 lead to close out the inning.

The Twins offense was just getting started. Two innings later, Herrmann knocked out his first Major League home run to left to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.

Herrmann admitted that he didn't initially know the hit was a home run, but the screaming fans soon clued him in.

"I had no idea," Herrmann said. "I didn't even look, honestly. I hit it and was expecting a double and then heard the fans screaming, so at that point I knew it was gone.

"It's a dream come true. Everybody's dream is to hit a home run in the Major Leagues. I put a pretty good swing on the ball and it went out of the park. So you can't ask for more than that."

Three batters after the Twins' second home run of the day, a sacrifice fly from Pedro Florimon drove in Hicks, who reached on a triple down the right-field line.

In the fifth, Willingham hit a two-run homer to left for a 7-0 lead, driving in Joe Mauer who walked to start the inning. Willingham hit an RBI single an inning later, driving in Eduardo Escobar, who reached on a base hit to lead off the inning.

With an 8-0 lead to start the seventh, Dozier joined the home run extravaganza, going to left to extend the lead to nine. The Twins made it 10-0 before the inning was over, as Escobar singled to center to drive in Hicks, who had reached on a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

With the win, the Twins went 4-1 at home and have won their last two series, a nice turnaround after they went on a 10-game skid in mid-May.

"Those 10 games we were losing, some games were one-run games and we just needed a big hit," Dozier said. "But we've turned this thing around and it's not a streak anymore. Everything is going good right now and we're clicking. So it's a lot of fun. I'll tell you that."

MLB.com Comments