Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Brian Dozier and Josmil Pinto homered to back seven solid innings from Kyle Gibson, as the Minnesota Twins held off the Seattle Mariners, 5-4, to open a three-game set at Target Field.
Gibson (4-3) surrendered six hits, including an RBI double to Robinson Cano in the fifth inning. Gibson, who had been 0-3 over his last four starts, recorded his first win since April 17 versus Toronto in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
Glen Perkins navigated through the ninth inning and left the tying run stranded at third to pick up his 11th save and nail down Minnesota's fourth win in five games.
Dustin Ackley had a two-run triple for the Mariners, who lost their third in a row.
Chris Young (3-1) surrendered 10 hits and five runs over seven innings.
After the Mariners scored three times in the eighth, they threatened to tie the game in the ninth. Michael Saunders singled to begin the inning, went to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Cano's groundout. Corey Hart popped out to first.
Justin Smoak then bounced a ball to the third-base side of the mound. Perkins alertly made a smooth pick-up and threw easily in time to first to end the contest.
Gibson escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, and the Twins gave the 26-year-old right-hander a 3-0 lead to work with by the fifth. Aaron Hicks doubled leading off the third and scored on Dozier's one-out double to left. With two outs, Trevor Plouffe doubled to center field to make it 2-0. It became a three-run cushion in the fourth on Pinto's homer to left.
Cano's double off the wall in left-center plated Saunders in the top of the fifth, but Dozier countered in the bottom of the frame with his 10th home run of the year, a shot off the facing of the second deck in left.
A line single to left by Eduardo Escobar in the sixth plated Kurt Suzuki for a 5-1 margin. The Mariners may have limited the damage, but the bases were loaded when Hicks bounced a ball back to the mound, but nobody was covering third base and the throw to first was late from Young. Escobar then singled to left.
"It's one of those things. It didn't happen," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of the botched play at third.
With the bases still loaded, Young retired Dozier on a fly ball to right, and then Joe Mauer grounded back to the mound to end the inning.
Cano grounded out to leave runners on the corners in the seventh
"Through the middle part of the game he was cruising. He was using all his pitches," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Gibson. "He controlled the game pretty good."
The Mariners struck in the eighth, with all the runs charged to Caleb Thielbar. Ackley's triple to the gap in right-center scored Smoak and Kyle Seager. After Casey Fien entered from the bullpen, Mike Zunino's sacrifice fly to center made it a one-run contest.
Dozier has a seven-game hitting streak ... The Mariners went 1-for-8 with men in scoring position and stranded 10 runners ... Minnesota has won five of the last seven meetings .. Saunders had three of Seattle's nine hits.