Seattle, WA – Nick Franklin went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI and the Seattle Mariners split a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins with a 6-4 victory on Sunday.
Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager drove in a run apiece for the Mariners, who saw starter Erasmo Ramirez (2-0) allow four runs on seven hits and a pair of walks through six innings.
Chris Colabello had a two-run home run while Clete Thomas and Aaron Hicks each added an RBI for the Twins, who were looking to win their fourth straight series for the first time this season.
Kyle Gibson (2-3) surrendered five runs on seven hits and a walk in five frames to absorb the loss.
Colabello's two-run shot in the second got the Twins on the board.
In the third, Brad Miller and Franklin hit back-to-back one-out singles. With runners on the corners, Seager scored Miller with a sacrifice fly to center.
Seattle had a chance to score more after a fielding error by right fielder Ryan Doumit put runners on first and third once more, but Raul Ibanez lined out to shortstop, ending the inning.
The Mariners took the lead an inning later. Leadoff man Saunders hammered a 3-1 fastball to right to tie the game. Henry Blanco grounded into a fielder's choice and Miller was walked with two outs before Franklin clubbed a 1-1 pitch to right, giving them a 5-2 lead.
"Gibson didn't command then zone great, but if we turn a double-play it is a totally different ball game," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
Minnesota attempted a rally in the sixth. Doumit walked to begin the frame. Colabello and Thomas hit consecutive singles, the latter scoring Doumit. Following a fly out by Trevor Plouffe, Hicks hit a sac fly to center, plating Colabello and bringing the Twins within one.
However, Franklin hammered his second homer of the night with one out in the seventh to account for the final margin.
"He's small, but he's a strong kid. The way he hits through the balls puts a lot of backspin on the balls and that is how he gets it to carry," Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson said.
Tom Wilhelmsen closed in the ninth for the Mariners. He gave up a bunt single to Hicks but a double play by Pedro Florimon and a Jamey Carroll grounder toward first gave him his 24th save.
Franklin has four home runs and 13 RBI since the All-Star break ... Miller went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Seattle is 13-6 in his 19 starts batting leadoff and 15-5 in 20 starts at shortstop ... The Mariners have hit 41 home runs in the seventh inning or later, most in the American League ... Dozier went 1-for-3, extending his hitting streak to seven games, but was taken out before the bottom of the sixth inning with back stiffness.