Mariners go deep early, hold off Twins 6-4

Published 7:58 am Thursday, June 15, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — Mitch Haniger and Mike Zunino homered against Ervin Santana early, and the Seattle Mariners bullpen held off the Minnesota Twins late in a 6-4 victory Wednesday night.

Ben Gamel added three hits and two runs for the Mariners, who have won 12 of 17 games. Rookie Sam Gaviglio picked up the win by pitching into the sixth inning, and four relief pitchers combined to close the door on the Twins’ attempt to come back from a 5-0 deficit.

Edwin Diaz recorded four outs and dealt with a scare in the ninth inning to pick up his 11th save in 13 opportunities and bring Seattle one win away from the .500 mark.

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The Mariners never trailed, grabbing the lead before Santana recorded an out when Haniger drove a two-run homer to left. Two innings later, Zunino continued his hot hitting with a three-run homer off the facing of the second deck in left-center field to give Seattle a five-run lead. Zunino is hitting .396 since May 29 with four homers against the Twins in that span.

Santana (8-4) gave up a season-high nine hits in five innings, his second-shortest start of the season. It was the fourth time this year he allowed five or more runs and the third time he allowed multiple home runs in a game. The Twins ace doesn’t have a win in his last four home starts.

Gaviglio (3-1) earned his third win in three decisions for the Mariners despite tiring after four strong innings. The rookie finished 5 1/3 innings and struck out five but allowed a career-high three home runs. Eduardo Escobar and Byron Buxton hit solo home runs in the fifth inning, and Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer in the sixth to knock out Gaviglio and bring the Twins within striking distance at 6-4.

James Pazos, Nick Vincent, Marc Rzepczynski and Edwin Diaz combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings out of the Mariners bullpen, one night after Seattle relief pitchers gave up 11 runs in a 20-7 loss.