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Swipes third, scores on throwing error

SEATTLE (AP) -- Willie Bloomquist had a nasty-looking cut over
the bridge of his nose after using his head to score the winning
run.

Pinch-running, Bloomquist stole third base and scored on catcher
Henry Blanco's throwing error with one out in the ninth inning to
give the Seattle Mariners a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on
Wednesday night.

"I don't know what hit me. I don't really remember. It was like
I hit a wall on the side of my face," Bloomquist said.

Blanco's throw appeared to ricochet off Bloomquist's helmet
toward the Twins' third-base dugout. Sliding headfirst, Bloomquist
collided with third baseman Corey Koskie, who fell over in pain.

"Koskie is probably able to catch the ball, but it hit him
(Bloomquist) in the helmet," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
"That's what it sounded like to me. Everything was arriving about
the same time. We had a shot to throw him out, but it was a very
aggressive play by the kid."

Bloomquist then got up and scored without a play at home plate.
He grabbed his head, seemingly in pain, after crossing the plate.

Bloomquist was running for Scott Spiezio, who got aboard on an
infield single with one out. He then advanced to second on Juan
Rincon's throwing error.

Koskie sprained his left wrist on the play. X-rays were
negative.

Bloomquist was still trying to gather his thoughts in the
Mariners' locker room after he scored the winning run.

"I kind of went black for a quick second," he said. "I
figured it was the ball that hit me and assumed it kind of kicked
off somewhere. I picked my head up and saw it going over toward the
dugout."

Koskie said he broke late to cover the bag because he didn't
want Justin Leone, the hitter, to hit a ball past him into the
outfield.

"I was a little bit late making sure the ball went through the
zone," he said. "Henry threw the ball right there. It hit him in
the helmet or it hit my wrist or something hit it. That's all I
saw."

Manager Bob Melvin likes to use Bloomquist as a pinch-runner.

"He's not afraid to do some things out there," he said.
"They're aware of him over at first base, that he might run."

Melvin has used the versatile former Arizona State player who is
in his second season with the Mariners, in the outfield and the
outfield.

"He hasn't gotten the opportunity that he would like to get,
but, boy I'll tell you what, he can plug a lot of holes for you, do
a lot of things and play a lot of positions," Melvin said. "That
almost works against him sometimes."

George Sherrill (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief
to get the victory while Rincon (9-5) was the loser.

The Twins lost their fourth in a row and sixth in seven games to
have their lead in the AL Central over Cleveland cut to three
games.

The last-place Mariners have won four of five from the Twins in
Seattle this season.

The Twins tied it at 3 in the sixth on a single by Koskie and
Michael Cuddyer's double.

Randy Winn singled in two runs in the fifth to put the Mariners
ahead 3-2. Spiezio walked, Jose Lopez singled him to third and
Lopez went to second on a wild pitch.

The Mariners scored their first run in the fourth on consecutive
doubles by Bret Boone and Raul Ibanez.

The Twins grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by
Justin Morneau and a run-scoring double by Jacque Jones.

Brad Radke started for the Twins and pitched six innings,
allowing three runs on five hits, two walks and a wild pitch, with
four strikeouts.

Mariners starter Bobby Madritsch gave up three runs on six hits
and three walks in seven innings, striking out six.

Madritsch made his second major league start. Before the game,
the umpiring crew huddled on the field briefly to talk about the
tattoos on Madritsch's forearms.

"He (crew chief Tim McClelland) told me to put sleeves on,"
Madritsch said. "He let me go the first inning, but told me to put
sleeves on after that. I didn't see a problem with them ... it may
be just because I'm a rookie or something."

He said it was the first time umpires in his pro career had made
him do that.

Melvin said the Twins didn't complain about Madritsch, but the
umpires did it on their own.<
^Notes: Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 to break the major
league record for most hits in his first four seasons at 841. Hall
of Famer Paul "Big Poison" Waner set the record of 840 when he
played with Pittsburgh from 1926-29. ... Boone matched his
career-high 15-game hitting streak that he accomplished in 2003.
... Radke still hasn't won a game at Safeco Field, the only current
AL park he hasn't won at.