MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Blake Beavan gave up two runs in seven innings and Trayvon Robinson drove in two runs to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
Beavan (9-8) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out one.
Kyle Seager also drove in two runs for the Mariners, who have won 11 of their last 15 games.
Brian Duensing (3-10) gave up three earned runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings. He left after loading the bases in the sixth, and left fielder Josh Willingham’s blunder contributed to Seattle’s four-run inning.
Willingham’s two-run homer in the eighth off Stephen Pryor made things interesting, but Tom Wilhelmsen picked up his 21st save to help the Mariners take three of four in the series.
The Twins had the tying run on third base after pinch runner Darin Mastroianni stole two bases, but a shaky Wilhelmsen got Ben Revere to ground out to preserve a well-deserved win for Beavan.
Beavan wasn’t overpowering, but mixed his pitches and changed speeds just enough to keep the Twins off balance one night after they erupted for 10 runs. After giving up two runs in the first inning, Beavan retired 14 of his last 15 hitters.
Shelled for nine runs in 2 1-3 innings in his last outing, Duensing breezed through the first five against Seattle. He gave up an RBI single to Seager in the inning, but retired 12 straight from the second through the fifth as the Twins went ahead 2-1.
The Mariners loaded the bases to start the sixth and Duensing left after giving up a sacrifice fly to Seager that tied it. Willingham then dropped an easy fly ball by Jesus Montero to score another run and make it 3-2. Robinson added a two-run single.
The Mariners were 16 games under .500 on July 15, a lackluster start that ultimately led the organization to decide to part ways with longtime icon Ichiro Suzuki in a trade with the Yankees. But they have quietly been playing some of the best baseball in the American League over the last month.
They had a seven-game win streak to close July and an eight-gamer earlier this month to start climbing back up to respectability. They’ve now posted back-to-back winning months for the first time since 2009, giving them something to build on entering the final month.
NOTES: Mariners OF Michael Saunders missed his sixth straight game with a groin strain, but manager Eric Wedge said he expected him back on Friday. … Twins C Joe Mauer has thrown out only six of 49 runners trying to steal this season, by far the worst percentage of his career. Manager Ron Gardenhire blamed slow slide-step deliveries by the team’s pitchers. But he also said the Twins are working with Mauer on staying on the balls of his feet. He has been catching the ball flat-footed, making it harder to deliver a powerful on-target throw. … The Mariners will open a home series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. RHP Kevin Millwood (4-11, 4.28) will start the opener against Dan Haren (8-10, 4.82). The Twins are headed to Kansas City, where RHP Cole De Vries (3-5, 4.68) will face Royals LHP Will Smith (4-6, 5.55).
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.