Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 4

Minnesota leads 2-1 (as of 8/20)

Game 1: Thursday, August 18
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Game 2: Friday, August 19
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Game 3: Saturday, August 20
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in 10
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Game 4: Sunday, August 21
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Mariners 8

(53-69, 23-37 away)

Twins 3

(65-58, 34-27 home)

7:10 PM ET, August 20, 2005

Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

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W: G. Sherrill (2-2)

L: M. Guerrier (0-2)

Sexson caps six-run 10th inning

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A particularly vocal contingent of Minnesota Twins fans spent much of batting practice and the first few innings of Saturday night's game heckling Richie Sexson, telling him he had "warning-track power."

Those taunts sure seem silly now.

Sexson hit a grand slam in the 10th inning and had a solo homer for five RBI to help the Seattle Mariners snap the Twins' six-game winning streak with an 8-3 victory Saturday night.

"Those people were yelling that at me all day long," Sexson said with a bewildered sigh. "I didn't hear them after a while. They didn't say anything."

Seattle rookie Felix Hernandez allowed five hits and struck out nine in eight innings. He shook off a shaky first inning and dominated the final seven, mixing a 95 mph fastball with an 82 mph changeup and a devastating curveball.

"It's unbelievable. He's been great," Sexson said. "Every team has one or two guys who can stop those three- or four-game losing streaks. He's certainly that type of pitcher who can just stop a bad time."

Jamal Strong led off the 10th with a pinch-hit triple off Matt Guerrier (0-2) and scored on Yuniesky Betancourt's single to give the Mariners the lead. Sexson removed all doubt with his bases-loaded shot -- his second grand slam of the season and eighth of his career.

The Mariners' six-run 10th snapped an 18 1/3 innings scoreless streak for Guerrier, a 23 2/3-inning scoreless streak for the Twins' bullpen and gave Seattle its fourth win in six games.

"It was just one of those days," Guerrier said. "I was hoping [the streak] wouldn't end, but those things come and go. Hopefully I can start a new one tomorrow."

Willie Bloomquist, who went 3-for-4, added an RBI double and George Sherrill (2-2) pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the win.

After the Twins were dominated by Hernandez in a 1-0 loss at Seattle on Aug. 9, manager Ron Gardenhire said before the game that he wanted his team to get to the youngster early to see if it could rattle him.

The Twins did just that on Saturday night.

Shannon Stewart led off with a single up the middle and Joe Mauer walked, only the fourth walk Hernandez has issued in his four starts.

After Justin Morneau advanced the runners with a groundout to first, Matthew LeCroy ripped a base hit that zipped past Hernandez's head and into center field, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.

But the young right-hander settled down after that. He allowed three hits -- two of them infield singles -- over the next seven innings and retired 17 of 18 hitters during one stretch.

"Their kid was unbelievable," Gardenhire said. "He shut us down."

Hernandez's offense finally came through in the seventh, thanks to a jump-start from Sexson, who has bounced back from an injury-plagued season in Arizona with an impressive year in Seattle.

Sexson had only nine homers in 23 games for the Diamondbacks in 2004 but signed a four-year, $50 million contract with Seattle in December. Fully healthy, he has regained his power stroke this season. His 32 homers are tied for second in the AL and he also has 94 RBI.

He delivered the backbreaker in the 10th, getting his fourth multihomer game this season and 22nd of his career when he sent a slider from Guerrier deep into the left-center seats.

"It was just a bad pitch," Guerrier said. "I was behind in the count and he was looking for something out over the plate. That was definitely out over the plate."

Kyle Lohse had a shutout through six innings. The Mariners finally got to him in the seventh, when Sexson and Adrian Beltre led off with consecutive homers. The homers traveled a combined 817 feet and landed in nearly the same spot above the baggie in right field.

Lohse gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings.

Lew Ford hit a solo homer in the 10th off Eddie Guardado for the Twins.

Game notes


Ichiro Suzuki's 13-game hitting streak came to an end. ... The Mariners placed right-hander Gil Meche on the disabled list with patellar tendinitis in his right knee. ... Mauer extended his hitting streak to seven games. ... Seattle DH Greg Dobbs was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma after the Mariners released Scott Spiezio. Dobbs didn't get to Minneapolis until 5 a.m., grabbed a nap and went 0-for-3.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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