Iwakuma Solid As Mariners Top Twins 2-0
SEATTLE — Hisashi Iwakuma is back on track, and that should create a serious concern for the rest of the American League.
Iwakuma (7-4) has not allowed an earned run to the Twins in five career starts, which spans 33 2/3 innings.
After allowing a combined 10 runs in two consecutive starts to close out June, Iwakuma has given up just one in his two outings in July.
Danny Farquhar bridged the gap to the ninth with a scoreless inning of relief and Fernando Rodney pitched the final frame for his American League-leading 26th save in 28 chances.
Kevin Correia (4-11) was credited for the loss despite allowing only five hits in seven innings. It was the fourth time in the last five starts that the right-hander has left the game with no run support, and the sixth time this season the Twins have not been able to score a run for him.
“I still want to win some games here, but when we scored some runs early in the season, I wasn’t able to take advantage of it, and now I’m pitching well and we’re not scoring as often,” Correia said. “Hopefully two and two will come together and I’ll be able to turn it around.”
The Twins struggled just to put the ball in play, tying a season high by striking out 14 times.
Minnesota put runners on second and third with one out in the seventh after Kendrys Morales singled and Oswaldo Arcia doubled, half of the four hits Iwakuma allowed on the night. Iwakuma got a groundout to third and a strikeout to end the threat.
Correia faced additional trouble after Zunino’s 396-foot blast to left field in the second as Dustin Ackley singled and advanced on Brad Miller’s one-out walk. Correia was able to retire the next two batters, though, to avoid further damage.
Saunders’ sixth home run of the year was nearly caught by Sam Fuld, but the ball tipped off the top of the center fielder’s glove as he slammed into the fence.
The shutout continues a strong run by Mariners pitching, in which the staff has allowed three runs in 29 innings.
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