Josh Willingham has been as valuable as any Twins player this season, but Thursday he took his turn adding water to their sinking ship.
Willingham had two disappointing at-bats early in the 5-4 loss to Seattle at Target Field, as the Twins missed chances to build a bigger lead against Mariners starter Blake Beavan.
Then in the sixth inning, Willingham dropped a routine fly ball, helping the Mariners move ahead by three runs.
Of course, Willingham has the ability to change things with one swing, and he lined a two-run homer in the eighth inning -- his 33rd of the season -- to pull the Twins within a run.
They put runners at the corners in the ninth on two walks, but Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen got Ben Revere to hit a weak roller to first base, ending the game.
"I just didn't do a whole lot today early to help us win the game today," Willingham said.
The Twins fell to 4-17 in their past 21 games and dropped three of four to the Mariners, finishing the season series 2-8 against the last-place team in the American League West.
"The last couple games were a lot more fun than the others -- other than the big inning [Thursday] -- so hopefully we can build off of that," manager Ron Gardenhire said.