Error Breaks Up Pitching Duel as Mariners Edge Twins 1-0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After spending much of the day feeling ill, James Pazos gave the Seattle Mariners a gritty performance against Minnesota.
Pitching through a nasty case of food poisoning, the Seattle reliever picked up the win when Twins first baseman Logan Morrison committed a throwing error in the eighth inning that sent the Mariners past the Twins 1-0 after a long rain delay Monday night.
After starter Wade LeBlanc threw six scoreless innings, Pazos (1-0) came on to work the seventh. According to manager Scott Servais, just being able to pitch was a victory in itself for Pazos.
"He was throwing up all day, didn't know if he'd be available," Servais said. "He went out and got us through the seventh and came right back in and went right back in the bathroom."
Pazos gave up a one-out double to Mitch Garver but otherwise shut the door on the Twins, part of a dominant night by Mariners pitching. Nick Vincent worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his AL-leading 14th save in 15 chances.
The four Seattle pitchers combined to allow just four hits and no walks. Garver was the only Twins runner to reach second base all night.
"Tough way to lose a game when you get back home and can't find a way to score," said manager Paul Molitor, whose team was coming off a 2-1 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
The pitchers were matching each other until the Mariners finally broke through when Dee Gordon led off the eighth with a double against reliever Trevor Hildenberger (1-1). Jean Segura laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Morrison, who was charging hard from first base.
With Gordon racing to third, Morrison turned to throw to first but the ball sailed into right field, allowing Gordon to score.
"I went to reset my feet and just threw it away," Morrison said. "Obviously a routine play I've got to make, and didn't make it."
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi threw six shutout innings, giving up four hits and one walk while striking out seven. He allowed leadoff doubles in the third, fifth and sixth but worked his way out of trouble.
Minnesota shortstop Ehire Adrianza ran down Gordon's broken-bat blooper in short center to end the fifth with two runners on. Odorizzi stranded runners at the corners in the sixth when he struck out Ryon Healy on a diving splitter, his 97th and final pitch of the night.
"I felt like I had pretty good stuff for the most part, and got some strikeouts when I really needed," Odorizzi said.
The story of the night, however, was Pazos. The lefty hasn't given up a run in his last 12 outings dating to April 7 and has lowered his ERA to 1.17, solidifying his role in the Seattle bullpen on a night when he wasn't at full strength.
"James Pazos has earned the right to start pitching in the back end. He's been one of our most dominant guys," Servais said. "I like how he's wired. Tonight, giving us the effort he did, says a lot about him."
The game was originally scheduled for April 8 but got postponed because of inclement weather. Then the first pitch Monday was pushed back 1 hour, 42 minutes due to rain.
IN A GROOVE
LeBlanc made his third start since joining the Mariners' rotation at the beginning of May and was sharp once again. He allowed just three runners, none of whom reached second base. He's given up only one earned run in 15 innings as a starter this year.
After spending a month in the bullpen, LeBlanc also figures that as he gets back into the routine of a starting pitcher, bigger things are still to come.
"I wouldn't necessarily say it's all been building to this because there's still a lot of things I can get better at," he said. "Today, I got to a lot of two-strike counts and wasn't great at putting guys away."
Mariners: 2B Robinson Cano was placed on the disabled list with a broken bone in his right hand. He was replaced on the roster and in the starting lineup by nine-year veteran Gordon Beckham.
Twins: 3B Miguel Sano (hamstring) is "not very close to 100 percent" while running, according to Molitor. Sano has been on the DL since May 1. ... The team announced C Jason Castro will undergo surgery to remove damaged cartilage in his right knee. He's expected to miss at least four to six weeks. ... RHP Ervin Santana (finger) threw to batters at the Twins' minor league facility in Florida for the first time since having surgery in February. The club hopes he'll be ready to pitch in an extended spring training game next Monday.
Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (4-3, 5.72 ERA) will be looking for his third win in four outings when he faces the Texas Rangers on Tuesday in Seattle.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (3-4, 4.50) tries to get back on track against the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Target Field. Over his last four starts he's allowed 18 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings, going 1-3 in the process.