Twins break open game with four-run 14th

SEATTLE (AP) -- Even young Joe Mauer was tired after catching 14
innings for the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

"I feel a little bit fatigued," he said with a smile. "It'll
be nice to have the day off tomorrow. I might be a little bit sore

Luis Rodriguez's tiebreaking RBI single and Mauer's two-run
double in the 14th inning gave the Minnesota Twins a 7-3 victory
over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night to avoid a three-game

Rodriguez came up with a runner on second in the 10th with one
out but flied out to left.

"I'm pretty happy," said Rodriguez, a Venezuelan speaking
through a translator. "That was the second time in the game I had
a chance to break the tie. I feel really good about that."

Mauer went 4-for-5, with two doubles and three RBI in the game.

"It's good to come out on top in a game like that," he said.
"It was just one of those nights when I was seeing the ball pretty
good. I was just able to put a good swing on the one in the 14th

The 22-year-old Mauer played only 35 games last season because
of a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery. He
played in his 90th game of the 2005 season on Wednesday night.

"It's good to be back," Mauer said. "This year's been a lot

Lew Ford opened the 14th with a walk off Jeff Nelson (1-2).
Jason Bartlett attempted to sacrifice him to second but first
baseman Richie Sexson caught the bunt for an out. Nelson then hit
Shannon Stewart with a pitch before Nelson was replaced by
Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Seattle's eighth pitcher.

Hasegawa then served up Rodriguez's go-ahead single to left, and
Mauer followed with his double to center to add two insurance runs.
Jacque Jones drove in the fourth run of the 14th with a fielder's

The Twins sent nine men to the plate in the 14th, getting three

Closer Joe Nathan (5-3) pitched two innings and Juan Rincon,
Minnesota's sixth pitcher, worked the bottom of the 14th.

It took the Twins 4 hours, 27 minutes, but they snapped a
three-game losing streak and a six-game road losing skid.

"They won the first half, but we won the second half," joked
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.

In the ninth, the Twins tied the score at 3 with an unearned run
off Mariners ace closer Eddie Guardado, who blew a save for the
first time since April 9 after posting a club-record 27 in a row.

With two out, pinch-hitter Michael Cuddyer hit an infield single
to second baseman Willie Bloomquist, who threw the ball into the
first-base seats for a throwing error, allowing Cuddyer to go to

Pinch-hitter Ford singled to left to score pinch-runner Nick
Punto to tie the score, with Punto sliding into home plate ahead of
a throw by left fielder Chris Snelling. The run was unearned
because of Bloomquist's throwing error.

Guardado, 34, spent his first 11 seasons with the Twins before
signing with the Mariners as a free agent in December 2003.

"It was a good run and it was fun, but you know hopefully I'll
start another one," he said of his snapped streak of saves. "I
feel bad because my job is to come in and get three outs in the
ninth. To close it down. I didn't do it."

Sexson tied the score at 1 in the fourth with his 28th homer, a
436-foot shot into the Mariners' bullpen in left field. It was
Sexson's 11th homer in 26 games.

"I hung a changeup to Sexson," Minnesota starter Brad Radke
said. "I don't like facing that guy."

The Mariners went ahead 3-1 in the sixth on Raul Ibanez's RBI
single and Jeremy Reed's double-play grounder with the bases
loaded, but they didn't score over the final eight innings.

In the top of the fourth, Justin Morneau gave the Twins a 1-0
lead with an RBI single. Mauer had a run-scoring single in the
eighth for his third hit of the game.

For Seattle, starter Joel Pineiro allowed two runs on seven
hits, with no walks and four strikeouts.

Radke pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits
and three walks, with four strikeouts.

"As long as I keep my team in the game," Radke said of his
performance. "That's what our starting pitcher is there for. As
long as you get wins out of those games, it makes it a lot

Game notes
Jones, who has started 98 games in RF for the Twins this
season, made his first start in CF since April 8, 2004. Jones came
to manager Ron Gardenhire and volunteered to play CF after Torii
Hunter broke his left ankle July 29. Hunter is out for the season.
... Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki received his 15th intentional walk,
tops in the AL. ... Juan Castro of the Twins left the game with a
left knee strain in the 10th. He's day to day. ... The 4:27 game
was the longest for both teams this season.