SEATTLE (AP) — Nick Franklin homered twice, including a three-run shot, and Endy Chavez robbed Chris Colabello of a second two-run homer Sunday to help the Seattle Mariners hold off the Minnesota Twins 6-4.
Franklin and Michael Saunders both went deep during a pivotal four-run fourth inning. With the Mariners down 2-1, Saunders tied it with his seventh homer to open the inning, deep into the right-field second deck.
After Henry Blanco reached on a fielder’s choice and Brad Miller walked, Franklin connected on a 1-1 pitch from Kyle Gibson (2-3) to put the Mariners ahead 5-2.
Franklin added his 10th homer to right field with one out in the seventh. His 10 home runs and 32 RBIs are the most among American League rookies.
Erasmo Ramirez (2-0) went six innings and allowed four runs on seven hits to pick up the win. He struck out six and walked two.
Ramirez, who missed most of the year with right triceps tendinitis, won his second straight game since being recalled from the minors July 11.
Tom Wilhelmsen worked the ninth for his 24th save in 29 opportunities.
Four of the Twins’ seven hits off Ramirez were for extra bases, including Colabello’s two-run homer in the second. Colabello also hit a two-run shot Friday, the first of his career.
Ryan Doumit opened the Minnesota second with a double to deep right that had to be verified by replay. Chavez reached over the wall to deflect the ball back onto the field. It caromed off the top of the fence, along the yellow line, and bounced onto the warning track.
It didn’t matter much because Doumit scored on the next pitch when Colabello deposited his second career home run over the wall in straightaway center.
One inning later, Chavez faced nearly the exact situation again. With Brian Dozier on second and two outs, Colabello drove one high to right. Chavez took a leap at the wall, reached over and this time brought the ball back in his glove. That would stand up as a significant play.
The Mariners got a run in the third. Brad Miller singled, went to third on Franklin’s single and scored when Kyle Seager hit a sacrifice fly.
The Twins closed to 5-4 with a two-run sixth. Doumit walked and advanced to third on Colabello’s single to left. Clete Thomas drove in Doumit with a single, and Colabello scored on Aaron Hicks’ sacrifice fly.
NOTES: The Mariners closed their clubhouse before the game for a brief visit from manager Eric Wedge, sidelined after a mild stroke July 22. He has missed seven games and will skip the upcoming six-game road trip. “Eric came in and said hello to the boys,” acting manager Robby Thompson said. “He walked in as proud, strong and tall as Eric always is and it was good for the guys to see him.” ... After the game, the Twins optioned catcher Drew Butera to Triple-A Rochester. All-Star catcher Joe Mauer will be reinstated from the restricted list Monday and is expected to be in uniform Tuesday night against Kansas City. Mauer spent the maximum three days on the paternity list following the birth of his twin daughters Wednesday, then was moved to the restricted list for two days. ... RHP Rich Harden, injured for much of his nine-year big league career, was granted his release by the Twins. “He’s had a lat, shoulder and a variety of things,” assistant GM Rob Antony said. “He just couldn’t get healthy.” Harden had been working out at the team’s facility in Fort Myers, Fla. ... Dozier left in the sixth with lower back stiffness. ... During the seventh-inning stretch, a fan in the third deck let loose dozens of dollar bills into the air to advertise an event. The bills fluttered above the crowd and the field, delaying the game momentarily while they settled.