Saunders homers, Mariners beat Twins 5-1 for sweep

Michael Saunders homered, helping Blake Beavan and the Seattle Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 Sunday for their fifth straight victory.

Seattle completed a three-game sweep and has won 12 of its last 13 at Safeco Field. Minnesota lost its fifth in a row.

Saunders' two-run shot was his career-high 11th homer. He connected in the seventh inning after Dustin Ackley doubled off reliever Jeff Gray, putting Seattle ahead 4-1.

Beavan (8-7) and Twins starter Samuel Deduno (4-1) came into the game as a sharp study in contrasts.

Deduno had issued 34 walks in 45 2-3 career innings, making the rookie right-hander the first pitcher to go unbeaten in seven starts while issuing at least 30 walks since Tampa Bay's Victor Zambrano in 2004.

Beavan entered as a master of control with just 28 walks in 199 2-3 career innings.

Walks factored in for both pitchers.

In the second, Beavan issued his only walk that set up the first run. After Josh Willingham's double, Justin Morneau walked on four pitches. Trevor Plouffe later hit a sacrifice fly.

Deduno couldn't find the strike zone in the third with four walks and it cost him two runs. Ackley opened with a walk, Saunders followed with single then Kyle Seager walked to load the bases with no outs.

Deduno then walked John Jaso to force in a run. Jesus Montero bounced into a double play, allowing Saunders to score from third for a 2-1 lead.

The Twins chased Beavan in the sixth after one-out singles by Morneau and Ryan Doumit. Hard-throwing Carter Capps entered and walked Plouffe to load the bases, then struck out Matt Carson and induced Pedro Florimon to fly out.

Beavan, who picked up his fifth victory in his last six decisions, allowed one run and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Deduno worked six innings and walked six.

After Saunders' home run, the Mariners added one more in the seventh on Eric Thames' RBI double, his third hit.

NOTES: Twins GM Terry Ryan currently is touring the minor leagues to determine who will be the candidates for September callups. "We're going to bring guys up who deserve it, not just because guys are on the roster. We've had too much of that," manager Ron Gardenhire said. He said that pitching will be the priority. ... The Twins turned three double plays, adding to their major league lead of 148. ... The Twins were 3 for 28 with runners in scoring position for the series after going 0 for 10 Sunday.