Byron Buxton helps Twins send Mariners to 5-1 loss

Jun 29, 2024, 10:27 PM | Updated: Jul 3, 2024, 2:12 pm

Seattle Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins...

Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins celebrates with teammates during a 2024 game. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Byron Buxton extended Minnesota’s home run streak to 18 straight games with a three-run shot in the sixth inning, Pablo López allowed one run over six innings, and the Twins beat the Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Saturday night.

Minnesota Twins 5, Seattle Mariners 1: Box Score

Minnesota improved to 5-3 on its current nine-game road trip and got the 5,000th win in franchise history since the Twins moved from Washington prior to the 1961 season.

Buxton homered for the second time in three games, this time breaking the game open with a shot off Seattle reliever Trent Thornton with two outs in the sixth inning. Thornton was on the verge of escaping trouble after the first two batters of the inning reached, but he left a 2-2 fastball in the middle of the plate and Buxton didn’t miss for his eighth homer of the season.

“He’s finding ways to just have good at-bats, put himself in good counts. But the swing, I’ve said a couple of times before, looks very synched up. It looks very tight and it’s very impactful. He’s finding the barrel and the ball just really takes off when he’s putting good swings on the ball,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Minnesota’s 18-game streak of long balls is tied for the franchise record set last season between April 18 and May 6, 2023. It’s the second-longest streak in the majors this season behind Baltimore’s 22-game stretch earlier this month, and the Twins have hit 29 homers during the span.

Buxton also had a two-out RBI double in the fourth inning off Seattle starter Bryce Miller that barely eluded the diving attempt of Luke Raley in left field. The four RBIs were a season high for Buxton and the most since July 21, 2023, against the White Sox.

Buxton is hitting .478 with four homers and four doubles on the current road trip.

“Once you figure out what you don’t have to search for the whole time going into the cage, not spending 40 minutes on that one little piece you’re trying to figure out it kind of simplifies the game a little bit more,” Buxton said. “When I say, ‘see ball, hit ball,’ it’s more just about simplifying it to just go out there and have a quality at-bat.”

Coming off a 14-strikeout performance in his last start, López (8-6) scattered four hits and struck out nine. He’s allowed six hits and one earned run in his last 14 innings, and retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.

Seattle’s only run off López came via Mitch Haniger’s solo homer in the third inning. It was Haniger’s seventh homer of the season but his first since May 14.

Miller (6-7) was lifted after five innings and only allowing two runs. But he had to work to get through those five innings throwing 87 pitches and with the heart of the Twins order coming up in the sixth.

Miller allowed five hits and struck out six.

“He did have to throw a lot of offspeed pitches tonight, probably the most he’s thrown all year, but he was able to work through it,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It wasn’t easy. … He had to grind through it.”


Twins: RHP Joe Ryan (5-5, 3.31) has pitched at least six innings in his last four starts. He allowed four runs over six innings in his last outing against Arizona.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (6-9, 3.79) will throw on normal rest rather than giving him two extra days off and having him start Tuesday’s series opener against Baltimore. Castillo has lost three of his last four starts.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Big Game Hunting: Two splashy potential Mariners trade targets
• Rost: The two things about first-place Mariners’ season that are baffling
Rowland-Smith: What stands out about Mariners pitchers’ recent hiccups
• Mariners Injury Update: Latest on Bryan Woo, Gabe Speier and more
• Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez putting in extra work to solve struggles

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Byron Buxton helps Twins send Mariners to 5-1 loss