Dean outshines Hernandez as Twins down Mariners
SEATTLE (AP) Pat Dean was making his second big league start, pitching for a Twins team that had four road victories and was facing Seattle ace Felix Hernandez before a revved-up Mariners crowd of more than 40,000.
The rookie left-hander was up to the challenge.
Robbie Grossman's bases-loaded double keyed a five-run third and Dean pitched effectively for seven innings for his first major league victory to pace Minnesota past the Mariners 7-2 on Friday night.
Dean (1-1), allowed two runs on four hits, striking out eight and walking none in his second start and fourth appearance since being called up May 11. Ryan Pressley pitched the eighth and Brandon Kintzler finished.
''He's a great pitcher. He's had a lot of success throughout his whole career,'' Dean said of Hernandez. ''It definitely makes it fun to go out there competing against a guy like him. Luckily, we got to him and I was able to keep the team in the game. That's all you can ask for.''
Hernandez (4-4), who entered with a 2.21 ERA and 147 more career victories than Dean, was tagged for six runs on eight hits in six innings.
''Obviously he is a great pitcher, had a great career and pitched a lot of great ballgames, but tonight was not one of them,'' Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ''They just kind of got going on him there in the third inning and he couldn't get them off his stuff. It happens. He is going to start 34 or 35 games for us and I hope that's the only one like that, but it's going to happen every once in a while.''
The Twins rocked Hernandez for five hits, including three doubles, during the third to take a 6-1 lead. Danny Santana doubled, Eduardo Nunez reached on a bunt single and Brian Dozier followed with an RBI double to make it 2-1. Joe Mauer added the fourth consecutive hit with an RBI single and Miguel Sano walked to load the bases.
Grossman's two-run, ground-rule down the right-field line put the Twins up 5-1. Sano scored on Byung Ho Park's ground out to third.
''It was my fault. I was leaving everything up,'' Hernandez said. ''Curveball, changeup was up. I didn't have any command of my fastball that inning. It was a bad inning for me.''
Seattle got a run back in the fourth on a triple by Robinson Cano and broken-bat single by Dae-Ho Lee.
Mauer added a solo homer in the seventh to make it 7-2.
Franklin Gutierrez staked the Mariners to a 1-0 lead in the first, driving an 0-1 pitch deep over the wall in right for his third home run.
Sano answered for the Twins in the top of the second with a solo shot to left-center, his ninth homer.
The Twins were playing their first game since pitching coach Neil Allen was suspended following his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving early Thursday.
TWINS LIKING SEATTLE
Despite being off to a dismal start this season, the Twins now are 6-1 in their last seven games at Safeco Field. The Mariners have the best road record in the majors at 18-7, but are 10-12 at home.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Grossman headed toward first after an inside pitch in the eighth, but home plate umpire Mark Wegner ruled the pitch did not him. The Twins challenged, but the on-field call was upheld after a review of 1:20. Grossman reached anyway, eventually drawing a walk.
Twins: Starting 3B Trevor Plouffe left in the fourth inning with what was announced as a mild MCL sprain in his right knee. ''Get him an MRI tomorrow and were not going to do anything at this time until we get further information on what his condition is,'' manager Paul Molitor said. ''I think he could play if he had to, but we've got to make sure what's going on there.''
Mariners: OF Leonys Martin was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, retroactive to Thursday. OF Stefen Romero was recalled from Triple-AAA Tacoma. ... SS Ketel Marte, on the 15-day DL with a sprained left thumb, hit off a tee Friday with 20 swings from each side of the plate with no ill effects. Marte said he is scheduled to play three rehab games next week with Triple-A Tacoma.
Twins: Right-hander Phil Hughes (1-7, 5.55 ERA) would rather focus on his career success at Safeco Field, where he is 5-1 with a 0.96 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances.
Mariners: Left-hander Wade Miley (5-2, 4.50 ERA) is 5-0 with a 3.12 ERA over his last six starts. He will be making his first career start against Minnesota.