BY SPNW Staff 09:26PM 05/05/2012

Mariners End 7-Game Slide, Beat Twins 7-0

Kyle Seager, who hit two home runs May 2 at Tampa Bay, blasted a two-run homer and a two-run single and Felix Hernandez allowed just one hit, lifting the Mariners to a 7-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins Saturday at Safeco Field,  snapping a season-high seven-game losing streak and keeping the Mariners from falling into last place in the AL West.

Pitching brilliantly, Hernandez notched his third win of the year against one loss with the eight-inning shutout. Hernandez struck out nine and walked two, lowering his ERA to 1.89. He gave up a single in the fourth inning to Denard Span.

Reliever Steve Delabar worked the ninth inning, recording one strikeout. Hernandez took over the major league lead in strikeouts with 51.

Asked about his run support, usually non-existent, Hernandez said, “Awesome, that’s how we win.”

The Mariners, who improved to 12-17, and Twins battled through five scoreless innings. In the sixth, Dustin Ackley had an infield single and Ichiro walked on a full count. Seager delivered a two-run single for a 2-0 lead.

In the seventh, Mike Carp, recently summoned from AAA Tacoma, reached on a walk, Michael Saunders produced a bunt single, Ackley walked, and Casper Wells, running for Carp, scored on a sacrifice fly. Ichiro, hitless in his previous two games, then ripped a two-run triple, scoring Saunders and Ackley. Seager followed with a home run.

“I got one up in the zone,” said Seager, whose four RBIs tied a career high. “It was a fastball.”

“I like the way he’s seeing the ball,” said manager Eric Wedge.

Brendan Ryan, who had been in an 0-for-26 slide before collecting two hits Friday, batted second in the order Saturday and went 0-for-2, but had an RBI.

The Mariners, who had been averaging nearly 10 strikeouts per game during their streak, whiffed only twice.

Seattle and Minnesota conclude their three-game series Sunday at Safeco Field, Hector Noesi (1-3, 7.83) facing Nick Blackburn (0-3, 6.64).


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