Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published July 7, 2014 at 9:57 PM | Page modified July 8, 2014 at 10:16 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Mariners’ 2-0 victory over Twins subdued by pending release of catcher John Buck

Hisashi Iwakuma strikes out 10 and still hasn’t allowed the Twins an earned run

Seattle Times staff reporter

TUESDAY

Minnesota @ Mariners, 7:10 p.m., ROOT Sports

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
All you Kendry Morales fans, I hope you noticed that last night he didn't score from first on a double into the gap... MORE
Class doesn't jettison someone on his birthday. Only the M's would do such a thing. I'd rather have Buck on my roster... MORE
If there was any doubt about what kind of organization the Seattle Mariners are, releasing a popular veteran on his... MORE

advertising

A game that featured one of the least-celebrated home runs in recent Mariner history at Safeco Field also turned into one of the least-celebrated victories by the team itself.

Michael Saunders hit one of two solo home runs to back up some fantastic pitching by Hisashi Iwakuma and lift Seattle to a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night in front of 18,562 spectators.

But Saunders’ seventh-inning homer remained in question until he had rounded the bases and gotten to the dugout as no one knew for sure if Minnesota center fielder Sam Fuld — who hit the wall and crumbled to the ground — had caught the ball.

“That’s a tough play that Sam makes more often than you’d think,’’ said Saunders.

Saunders said he didn’t know for sure it was a homer until the umpires ruled it as one after he was already in the dugout. That led to a muted reaction from the crowd, which also was kept in suspense.

The clubhouse afterward was likewise more somber than might be expected after a victory due to the news that the team had released backup catcher and popular veteran John Buck. It is expected that the Mariners will call up catcher Jesus Sucre, who is hitting .281 with Tacoma.

“Listen, these things are never fun,’’ Mariner manager Lloyd McClendon said of the release of Buck, on his 34th birthday. “John Buck is a fine baseball player and I think he has been great for this club, and a wonderful individual. We’ve got a catcher in Triple A who is turning the corner and doing a pretty darn good job. We will announce that tomorrow, but we just felt it was time. So we think this move makes us a better club.’’

All they really needed Monday was the pitching of Iwakuma, who continued his mastery of the Twins.

Iwakuma (7-4) allowed just four hits in pitching seven scoreless innings. He has not allowed an earned run in 332/3  innings against the Twins (he has allowed two unearned runs), having won each of his five starts against Minnesota.

“You know what? The guy’s got great stuff,’’ said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “It doesn’t matter how many times you face great pitchers — there’s a reason they have good records and good ERAs because they have good stuff.’’

Iwakuma also struck out 10, while not allowing a walk in throwing 105 pitches. He struck out at least one in each inning in what was the third time he has had 10 or more strikeouts in a game.

Seattle’s bullpen then finished up the final two innings, with Fernando Rodney increasing his AL-leading save total to 26.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Want free career advice? And an iPad Mini?

Want free career advice? And an iPad Mini?

Tell us about your goals and challenges and be considered for a future NWjobs career-makeover story, as well as a chance to win an iPad Mini!

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►