SEATTLE – Scouts at Thursday’s game included representatives from the Blue Jays, Pirates and Orioles. The Pirates and Orioles are definitely looking for talent to improve their postseason chances, and what better way to do it than to scout teams such as the Twins and Mariners that are on the outside looking in.
Justin Morneau, Brian Duensing and Jared Burton are among Twins players teams have called about. They and other Twins will be trade topics leading up to Wednesday’s nonwaiver deadline.
The Twins, however, didn’t put on much of a show.
Seattle knocked out Twins starter Kevin Correia in the second inning and eased to an 8-2 victory at Safeco Field. Righthander Hisashi Iwakuma pitched six shutout innings, giving him a career ERA of 0.00 (two unearned runs) in 26⅔ career innings against the Twins. Nick Franklin hit a three-run home run.
“Bad start to the ballgame for us,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “The first time we’ve seen Correia have a hard time. He just couldn’t get the ball where he wanted. We set up outside and he’d throw it over the middle. We set up inside and he’d throw it back over the middle.”
Chris Herrmann and Doug Bernier each hit RBI doubles in the ninth to save the Twins from being shut out in back-to-back games.
As for the Twins that might draw interest before the deadline, Morneau was 1-for-4 as he reached on an infield single and on an error, struck out on a fastball out of the zone, and flied out to deep right-center. Duensing entered the game with two outs in the fifth and gave up an RBI double to Dustin Ackley before settling down to get four outs. Burton didn’t appear in the game.
Correia got through the first inning unscathed but was pummeled in the second. Kyle Seager led off with a double and soon scored on Mike Zunino’s single. Dustin Ackley hit an RBI single. Brad Miller socked an RBI double.
The Twins had Ryan Pressly warming up in the bullpen but it was too late. Franklin drove a fat pitch by Correia over the wall in center, giving the Mariners a 6-0 lead — the third-biggest inning for Seattle this season.
That was more than enough for Iwakuma, the way he’s pitched against the Twins. And he’s just the warm-up act for Felix Hernandez, who starts against the Twins on Friday.
“You get behind, and their guy is a pretty good pitcher,” Gardenhire said. “He moves the ball all over the place, and it made it a little tough for us when you fall behind that quick. Their guy did what he had to do, shut us down.”
Mauer to miss weekend?
Twins catcher Joe Mauer might miss the entire series in Seattle to spend time with his family following the birth of twin daughters Wednesday.
The Twins said Thursday that it might make more sense for Mauer to wait for the team to return from its West Coast trip than to fly out for the last two games. “We are fine with it either way,” said Rob Antony, the Twins assistant general manager.
Mauer hopped on a charter Tuesday for a late-night dash from Anaheim to the Twin Cities, arriving just in time to witness the birth of twin daughters Emily and Maren. The girls were born a month premature.
Top prospect Miguel Sano on Thursday missed a second consecutive game after being benched for admiring a home run Tuesday for Class AA New Britain. A video on YouTube follows the path of the home run ball, then comes back to Sano, who has just tossed his bat toward the dugout and is just a few feet down the first base line.