Baseball / Sports

Twins blank M's, 2-0

SEATTLE--Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon likes to say that when a team gets only a handful of hits, no one looks good.

If his theory needed any testing, the Mariners' offense provided the case study in Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

For starters, there weren't many chances to be had in the first place. And the ones the Mariners did manage quickly dissolved. The Mariners' best chance, or at least the one with the most promise, came in the eighth inning.

Trailing 2-0, Michael Saunders and James Jones singled with one out. That brought up the guy you'd want at the plate in that situation, Robinson Cano. But in a fitting display of just how much Seattle's offense is slumping, Cano grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Mariners' offense has toed the line between "just enough" and "not good enough" for most of the season. This is the same offense that just a week ago scored more than 10 runs in back-to-back games, and even if that is more an aberration than the norm, it's worth remembering.

But there is a reason so much chatter right now focuses on the Mariners adding another bat to the lineup. The Mariners haven't scored more than three runs in any of their last five games, although they did win two of those thanks to quality starting pitching.

Offenses are never as good as they look when hot, and they are never as bad as they appear when cold. And right now the Mariners are cold. They are just 2 for their last 36 with runners in scoring position in their last five games.

Mike Zunino struck out three times. Brad Miller went 0 for 3. Same with Dustin Ackley.

Chris Young turned in another quality start. He lasted seven innings, gave up six hits, had six strikeouts and allowed only two runs.

Young allowed base runners to reach second in the first, third and fourth inning but stranded all of them. He gave up a one-out double to Kendrys Morales, who was booed again by a smattering of fans. But Young stranded Morales at second.

With two outs in the fifth, Sam Fuld hit a solo home run.

Young exited in the eighth inning after allowing the first two batters to reach. McClendon brought on reliever Yoervis Medina, who got the first hitter he faced to fly out to left field, but Ackley's throw home wasn't in time, and the Twins stretched their lead to 2-0.

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