SEATTLE – Joe Mauer's two-out RBI single in the seventh inning helped the Minnesota Twins rally for a 3-2 win on Friday night, handing the Seattle Mariners their seventh straight loss.
The Twins snapped a 25-inning scoreless streak when they scored three runs in the seventh inning as Seattle's bullpen was unable to hold a 2-0 lead after 6 1-3 strong innings from starter Jason Vargas.
But Vargas was just a spectator while Tom Wilhelmsen (1-1) struggled through four batters in the seventh and made a costly throwing error that allowed the tying run to score. Mauer then followed with a single up the middle that glanced off the glove of shortstop Brendan Ryan and allowed Trevor Plouffe to score. The Twins won for just the second time in 11 games.
Carl Pavano (2-2) needed just 69 pitches to get through six innings and pick up his second victory. He gave up a trio of doubles in the fifth inning when Seattle scored both of its runs, but minimized trouble otherwise. Pavano allowed eight hits, but didn't walk a batter and struck out two.
Brian Duensing and Glen Perkins rolled through the seventh and eighth innings before Matt Capps worked the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.
Seattle lost by one run for the fourth time in five games.
Vargas pitched into the seventh, leaving after giving up a one-out double to Chris Parmelee. The double that hopped off the wall in center field was Minnesota's first extra-base hit since the eighth inning of Monday's game against the Angels.
Wilhelmsen replaced Vargas and walked Alexi Casilla and Plouffe. Wilhelmsen looked as if he was going to get out of the inning when Denard Span tapped back to the mound, but instead of throwing home, Wilhelmsen threw wide of second. Parmelee scored because of the errant throw, snapping the Twins' scoreless streak at 25 innings.
Jamey Carroll followed with a grounder wide of first and the only play was a force out of Span at second, allowing Casilla to score the tying run. That was it for Wilhelmsen, who was showered with boos as he was replaced by Charlie Furbush to face Mauer. On a 3-1 pitch, Mauer grounded back up the middle but it glanced off Ryan's stretched glove and trickled onto the outfield grass to score Plouffe.
The Twins had not scored since the eighth inning of Monday's game against the Angels when they scored three times. Minnesota was shut out on Tuesday 4-0, then no-hit by the Angels' Jered Weaver in a 9-0 loss on Wednesday.
Slugging rookie Jesus Montero started Seattle's fifth-inning rally with a double off the wall in deep left-center field as the pitchers in the Mariners' bullpen waved frantically for the ball to carry over the fence. It didn't, but Montero was jogging home one pitch later when Kyle Seager sliced a double into the left-center field gap to give Seattle the lead.
After Justin Smoak flew out to center field, Mike Carp lined a double over Ryan Doumit's head in right field to score Seager. Carroll was able to keep another run from scoring when his diving stop held Ryan to an infield single and Carp stopped at third. Dustin Ackley then flew out to end the inning.
Notes: Ackley was 1 for 3 in his first game as the Mariners leadoff hitter. Before Friday's game, manager Eric Wedge announced that veteran Chone Figgins was being benched ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire returned to Minnesota following the series against the Angels to attend the graduation of his daughter Tara from Southwest Minnesota State University. Gardenhire will rejoin the team on Monday.