Colabello’s First Homer Lifts Twins Past Mariners In 13th
SEATTLE -- When Chris Colabello walked to the plate with one on and no outs in the 13th inning, he expected to put down a sacrifice bunt. When he saw the sign to swing away, he had to check again just to make sure.
The call worked out pretty well. Colabello hit his first career home run, a two-run shot to the opposite field to give the Minnesota Twins the winning runs in a 3-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
"I was looking down at third base to try and get the signs; I thought we were maybe going to bunt. We'd talked about it in the dugout," Colabello said. "I was just trying to put a good swing on the ball, and thankfully it worked out the way it did."
Colabello's home run completed a turnaround for the Twins, who were unable to do anything offensively against Seattle starter Felix Hernandez for eight innings. Hernandez was two outs from a shutout and his first complete game of the season, but Trevor Plouffe's pinch-hit single in the top of the ninth tied it at 1.
"It was a very exciting baseball game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Mr. Hernandez was as advertised. Really tough. To find a way to squeak out a run against him was really unbelievable -- he's just so dominant."
Runs were hard to come by for both teams until the Mariners' Yoervis Medina (3-3) entered in the 13th. Aaron Hicks led off with a single, and Colabello -- playing in his 14th major league game -- followed with his two-run homer to right field.
It was Colabello's first home run in the majors, as well as his first extra-base hit.
"The last couple days, I've been feeling a lot better in the box," Colabello said. "I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to help the team and do what I could to be successful, and obviously something like that is pretty special. I'll remember it for a long time."
Kendrys Morales led off the bottom of the 13th with his 16th homer, but Glen Perkins closed it out for his 25th save.
Brian Duensing (3-1) pitched two innings for the win.
The Twins ruined Hernandez's shutout bid when Pedro Florimon led off the ninth with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Plouffe's single.
Until the ninth, Hernandez was nearly flawless. He had at least one strikeout in every inning, finishing with 11, and didn't walk a batter. He hasn't lost in 11 starts, stretching back to May 25.
Plouffe's hit ended Hernandez's stretch of 24 1/3 scoreless innings and 32 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings against the Twins.
Twins pitcher Scott Diamond had one of his best starts of the year as well. Diamond pitched into the seventh inning, giving up one run on five hits, with a walk and a strikeout.
The game was scoreless until the Mariners broke through in the fifth inning, although they were unhappy with a call that might have cost them more.
Dustin Ackley led off with a single, and then Brendan Ryan hit a possible double-play ball to shortstop Florimon. The toss to second baseman Dozier popped out of his glove, but umpire Chris Guccione ruled the ball was caught and Ackley was out.
Henry Blanco sent Ryan to third with a bloop single, and Nick Franklin drove him home with a two-out single up the middle to give Seattle a 1-0 lead.
The Mariners were the first team to get a runner in scoring position in extra innings, as Endy Chavez and Franklin hit two-out singles in the 12th, but Raul Ibanez struck out to end the threat.
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