Music played in the clubhouse. Players and coaches smiled. It was strange.
The Twins were able to celebrate for a change when Rene Tosoni came through with a walk-off double, scoring Trevor Plouffe from first base for a 3-2 victory over Seattle.
It ended an 11-game losing streak, the third longest in Twins history. It also enabled the announced crowd of 37,466 to rejoice for a change; the Twins are 5-22 at Target Field over their past 27 games.
"It's been a while since we've won a game," said Tosoni, who was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, "so we have been a little frustrated. Especially the last two games have been so close."
All three games against the Mariners were decided by one run, and in the first two games, the Twins left the tying and winning runs on in the ninth inning. Thursday's game was particularly sloppy for both teams. The Twins can't be choosy right now. They need three more victories to avoid losing 100 games for the second time in club history.
"It was nice to shake hands," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Anthony Swarzak threw 24 pitches in the first inning and had the Twins in a 2-0 hole after two, but he was able to last six innings without giving up any more runs. Tosoni scored on a double-play ball in the third and on Drew Butera's RBI single in the fifth.
Relievers Jose Mijares, Glen Perkins and Joe Nathan shut down Seattle, enabling the Twins to win it in the ninth.
"A good day," Gardenhire said. "A big one at the end. We've been waiting on it for three days."
Outfielder Denard Span said he felt good Thursday morning when he woke up and headed to the ballpark. So he intends to be in the lineup Friday when the Twins play at Cleveland.
Span, who has been slowed by migraine symptoms, was 0-for-3 Wednesday in his first action since Aug. 13.
The Twins decided to start Brian Duensing in Saturday's second game instead of fellow lefthander Francisco Liriano.
Duensing has had three relief outings since coming back from a strained oblique earlier this month, throwing 11, 18 and 25 pitches. Since Liriano has made only one appearance since recovering from a sore shoulder, the Twins decided it would be better to give the ball to Duensing.
Duensing is 9-14. If he can win again, the 2011 Twins would avoid being the franchise's first team not have a single double-digit winner in a full season.
If Duensing loses, he would become the first Twins pitcher since Carlos Silva in 2006 to lose 15 games in a season.
Kubel on the trip
Jason Kubel is making the trip to Cleveland, although his bruised left foot doesn't make him much of an outfielder.
Actually, his foot doesn't make him much of anything. But Gardenhire said Kubel wanted to be with his teammates. Gardenhire told Kubel that he better be ready if needed to pinch hit.
"He said, 'I'll do whatever you need me to do,' " Gardenhire said. "He said his foot is not good but he said he wanted to go on to road trip. He wanted to be with the guys."
Kubel was unable to swing a bat during the Seattle series.