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Nelson Cruz's big blast shoots Twins past Mariners

Twins rookie right-hander Bailey Ober pitched four scoreless innings

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) reacts after hitting a three run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at T-Mobile Park. Joe Nicholson / USA TODAY Sports
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Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer in his former home ballpark to lead the visiting Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

Ryan Jeffers added a solo shot for the Twins, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Twins rookie right-hander Bailey Ober pitched four scoreless innings. Ober allowed one hit, didn't walk a batter and struck out six. He was replaced after throwing 63 pitches.

Left-hander Caleb Thielbar (1-0) pitched two innings in relief for the victory.

Mariners left-hander Justus Sheffield (5-6) allowed seven runs on 10 hits in five innings, with two walks and four strikeouts.


The Twins, who were held to four hits in a 10-0 loss Tuesday, matched that total in the first inning of the series finale.

Jorge Polanco led off the game with a double to left field and scored when Josh Donaldson grounded a single into right. With one out, Alex Kirilloff reached on an infield single and Jeffers lined a single to center to make it 2-0.

The Twins added a run in the third as Polanco led off with a single and Willians Astudillo walked. Polanco stole third and scored on Kirilloff's groundout.

Minnesota broke the game open in the fifth as Polanco got his third hit, a double to left, and Astudillo again walked. Cruz launched the next pitch into the second deck in left field at T-Mobile Park, where he played for the Mariners from 2015-18, to make it 6-0. An out later, Jeffers went deep to left.

Seattle, which had its three-game winning streak snapped, got on the board in the bottom of the fifth as Ty France doubled with one out, moved to third on a flyout and scored on Shed Long Jr.'s single to left.

The Mariners added a run in the seventh as Mitch Haniger led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch, third on a groundout and scored on France's sacrifice fly.

The left side of the Twins' infield, third baseman Donaldson (right calf tightness) and shortstop Andrelton Simmons (sore left ankle), left the game early.


Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits an RBI single against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Joe Nicholson / USA TODAY Sports

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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