After duel, Mariners top Twins in 11 innings

After duel, Mariners top Twins in 11 innings

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a wild ninth inning that saw both teams exchange homers to send the game to extra innings, Logan Morrison connected on a go-ahead RBI double in the 11th to help lift the Mariners to a 4-1 win over the Twins on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

"I haven't even taken batting practice in the last four to five days," said Morrison, who has been sidelined by a bruised thumb but entered as a pinch-runner in the ninth. "I was just trying to get something in middle of the plate. I didn't feel it. When you barrel it, you don't feel it no matter how bad your hand hurts."

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte provides spark atop Mariners' lineup

No. 2 prospect makes mark as leadoff hitter vs. Twins

Marte provides spark atop Mariners' lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon has tried 10 different players in the leadoff role this season, searching for a spark at the top of the lineup in front of his middle-of-the-order threats: Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano.

Not many of the candidates really looked like a true leadoff threat, until the arrival of rookie Ketel Marte, who got on base four times in Sunday's 4-1 victory over the Twins and wound up scoring the go-ahead run in the 11th inning.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Jim Callis

O'Neill on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Orioles' No. 29 prospect throws no-hitter, strikes out nine

O'Neill on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

Left-hander John Means barely snuck onto MLBPipeline.com's Orioles Top 30 Prospects list, checking in at No. 29. While he may not have the highest profile in Baltimore's system, he's raising it after his performance in July.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nuno to make spot start vs. Rockies

Reliever gets first crack at rotation opening from Happ trade

Nuno to make spot start vs. Rockies

MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-handed reliever Vidal Nuno will make his first start with the Mariners on Tuesday against the Rockies at Coors Field, manager Lloyd McClendon said Sunday, as Seattle fills the opening created by the trade of J.A. Happ to the Pirates.

McClendon said he'd characterize it as a "spot start" for now as he's not ready to anoint Nuno as a permanent member of the rotation yet. But the 28-year-old from California does have starting experience, as he was a full-time member of the Yankees' and D-backs' rotations last year and started eight games for Arizona's Triple-A Reno club this season (3-3, 3.38 ERA) before being acquired by Seattle on June 3 in the Mark Trumbo trade.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Furbush nearing Minors rehab assignment

Reliever eyeing return from biceps tendinitis

Furbush nearing Minors rehab assignment

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush threw a 33-pitch bullpen session on Sunday at Target Field and said his left arm is back to feeling normal as he returns from biceps tendinitis that has sidelined him since July 9.

The 29-year-old lefty will throw another bullpen outing on Wednesday in Colorado, then head out on a Minor League rehab session with Triple-A Tacoma on Friday if all goes well.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

King Felix set for first start vs. Rockies in opener

King Felix set for first start vs. Rockies in opener

Felix Hernandez has spent 11 seasons baffling opposing Major League hitters, but the Mariners' ace has never had a chance to face the Colorado Rockies, until now. Hernandez makes his first start against the Rockies in Monday's opener of a three-game Interleague series at Coors Field, which will leave the St. Louis Cardinals as the only team in the Majors that he's yet to face.

The Mariners have played the Rockies nine times since Hernandez broke into the big leagues in 2005, but he didn't pitch any of those games. The game kicks off a brief three-game homestand for the Rockies and will be the first Coors Field appearance for shortstop Jose Reyes since he was acquired from Toronto in the Troy Tulowitzki deal.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wild pitches fell Mariners vs. Twins

Wild pitches fell Mariners vs. Twins

MINNESOTA -- The Twins completed a comeback in walk-off fashion Saturday night, scoring two runs in the ninth and ousting the Mariners, 3-2, with a Kurt Suzuki single off of Carson Smith with two outs. Twins rookie Miguel Sano led off the ninth inning with a double and pinch-runner Shane Robinson took third and home on wild pitches from Smith before Suzuki drove in left fielder Eddie Rosario, who had been intentionally walked.

"I think that anybody who plays this game wants to be in that position. I don't care where you are in the standings -- you want to be in that spot," Suzuki said. "I kind of had an idea they were going to do that just the way Rosie was swinging and the matchup. I was kind of hoping, 'OK, this is what it's all about. This is why you play.'"

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

More tough lessons for rookie closer Smith

More tough lessons for rookie closer Smith

MINNEAPOLIS - Strong pitching by starter Mike Montgomery and setup men Tom Wilhelmsen and Fernando Rodney had the Mariners poised for victory on Saturday, but things haven't gone that smoothly for Seattle much of the time this season.

And after a wild ninth from rookie closer Carson Smith, the Mariners were slapped with another walk-off loss, this one to the Twins, 3-2. It was the Mariners' seventh walk-off setback of the season, and Smith has now taken the loss in his last three outings.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners' No. 1 prospect Jackson on DL

Outfielder out 1-2 weeks with left hand injury

Mariners' No. 1 prospect Jackson on DL

MINNEAPOLIS -- Outfielder Alex Jackson, the Mariners' No. 1 ranked prospect on MLBPipeline.com, has been sidelined for one or two weeks with a left hand injury.

The 19-year-old has put up a .259/.355/.444 line with two homers and 11 RBIs in 23 games for Class A Short Everett. He was transferred to Class A Clinton on Friday and placed on the disabled list to create room on Everett's roster, but is expected to be returned to Everett's roster as soon as he's ready to play again.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After hectic 24 hours, Rasmussen thrilled

Mariners new reliever happy to be with Seattle

After hectic 24 hours, Rasmussen thrilled

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rob Rasmussen has been traded five times now in the past four years, but the well-traveled southpaw said it was a little different Friday when he learned he was being swapped by the Blue Jays to the Mariners.

This deal, it turned out, came with an invitation to the Major League club, and the former UCLA hurler flew immediately from Buffalo in time to arrive at Friday night's Mariners game against the Twins in the third inning at Target Field.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker one-hits Twins to halt Mariners' skid

Walker one-hits Twins to halt Mariners' skid

MINNEAPOLIS -- Taijuan Walker was dominant Friday, helping the Mariners snap a four-game losing streak and giving up just one run on one hit in Friday's 6-1 victory over the Twins. Walker struck out 11 in the first nine-inning complete game of his career, and was aided by two RBIs apiece from Brad Miller, Jesus Montero and Nelson Cruz.

"You can see what this young man is going to become and it's going to be special," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said after the 22-year-old right-hander improved to 8-7 with a 4.73 ERA.

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Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners, Walker hope gem a glimpse of future

Mariners, Walker hope gem a glimpse of future

MINNEAPOLIS -- Things haven't always gone smoothly for Taijuan Walker this season. But Friday night at Target Field, the hard-throwing 22-year-old showed a strong glimpse of what could be for the Mariners future as he fired a one-hitter at the Twins in a 6-1 victory.

Walker gave up only a home run to Miguel Sano in the fourth inning in a dominant outing that included a career-high-tying 11 strikeouts and just 101 pitches in his first nine-inning complete game.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners call up touted prospect Marte, Montero

Restocking 25-man roster, Seattle also promotes relievers Ramirez, Rasmussen

Mariners call up touted prospect Marte, Montero

MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Ketel Marte and first baseman/designated hitter Jesus Montero were recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday along with newly acquired relievers Rob Rasmussen and Jose Ramirez. Montero immediately provided a spark as the Mariners topped the Twins, 6-1, to snap a four-game losing streak.

Montero went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two RBIs while playing first base. Marte made his Major League debut and went 0-for-4 with a walk and run scored while leading off and playing second base.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners trade Happ to Bucs for righty prospect

Mariners trade Happ to Bucs for righty prospect

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Mariners completed a two-day push to add pitching prospects to their organization by dealing veteran starter J.A. Happ to the Pirates for young right-hander Adrian Sampson just prior to Friday's Trade Deadline.

Sampson, 23, is a Seattle-area native who grew up in Redmond, Wash., attended Skyline High School and Bellevue College before he was drafted by the Pirates in the fifth round in 2012. He was ranked as the Pirates' No. 28 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners acquire 3 lefty prospects for Lowe

Mariners acquire 3 lefty prospects for Lowe

MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran reliever Mark Lowe, one of the better comeback stories in baseball this season, was dealt by the Mariners to the Blue Jays for three left-handed Minor League pitchers before Friday's 1 p.m. PT Trade Deadline.

Lowe, 32, posted a 1.00 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 36 innings over 34 appearances this season after signing a Minor League deal with the Mariners. The 10-year veteran had pitched primarily in Triple-A the previous two years during stints with the Angels and Indians, with his last full season in the Majors coming with the Rangers in 2012.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners can't recover after Happ stumbles early

Mariners can't recover after Happ stumbles early

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eddie Rosario and Aaron Hicks combined for six hits, five runs and four RBIs to help the Twins snap a four-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Mariners on Thursday night at Target Field.

Rosario fell a single short of the cycle, as he was robbed of a hit in the eighth on a leaping catch from Mariners shortstop Brad Miller, but still had three hits, including a three-run blast as part of a five-run first inning. Hicks registered his fifth straight multi-hit game by going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and a walk, and is hitting .365 over his last 22 games since coming off the disabled list.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat and listen to his podcast. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Mariners Musings blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners send Ackley to Yankees for prospects

Seattle acquires outfielder Flores and right-hander Ramirez

Mariners send Ackley to Yankees for prospects

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners outfielder Dustin Ackley, the second player selected in the 2009 Draft, was dealt to the Yankees on Thursday for two prospects -- outfielder Ramon Flores and right-hander Jose Ramirez -- who had brief Major League stints earlier this year.

Ackley, 27, never flourished as hoped with Seattle, hitting .243 over five seasons and .215 this year when he was reduced to a platoon role in left field.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Happ's troubles add to Seattle's pitching woes

McClendon has few options to turn around rotation

Happ's troubles add to Seattle's pitching woes

MINNEAPOLIS -- For a Mariners team built largely on the back of its pitching staff, things have gone upside down the last week. While the offense has finally heated up, a once-reliable rotation has come unglued and J.A. Happ was the latest victim when the Twins pinned a 9-5 loss on Seattle in Thursday's series opener at Target Field.

Happ surrendered three home runs in the first two innings and wound up allowing nine hits and seven runs (six earned) over 3 1/3 as he fell to 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Infielder Taylor optioned to Triple-A

Mariners expected to promote Marte, Montero

Infielder Taylor optioned to Triple-A

MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Chris Taylor was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma after Thursday's 9-5 loss to the Twins as the Mariners opened up a roster spot for the expected addition of highly regarded prospect Ketel Marte.

No corresponding move was announced Thursday, but Marte was pulled from Tacoma's lineup in El Paso on Thursday and is expected to join the Mariners on Friday, along with designated hitter/first baseman Jesus Montero.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Command off, Felix has rare rough day

Mariners ace allows 7 runs, cites 'mistakes' left over plate

Command off, Felix has rare rough day

SEATTLE -- As hard as it is to believe and as rare as it is to witness, Felix Hernandez has the occasional bad day.

This is never expected, especially on a perfect, cloudless Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field with the Mariners needing their ace to salvage one victory out of their three-game series against the D-backs. But Hernandez never had it, and the 8-2 loss had the right-hander and his team in the midst of a three-game losing streak that pushed it further out of the postseason picture.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix roughed up as Mariners drop finale

Felix roughed up as Mariners drop finale

SEATTLE -- Patrick Corbin continued his strong comeback from Tommy John surgery, Welington Castillo haunted his former team with two home runs and Felix Hernandez suffered a rare clunker of an outing. In the aftermath, the D-backs completed a three-game sweep Wednesday afternoon with an 8-2 win over the Mariners before a sun-splashed Safeco Field crowd of 32,502.

"I felt like even when we were losing, we were playing hard and they were giving it everything they had every night, so it's hard for the manager to get upset," said D-backs manager Chip Hale. "We're doing a little better with the execution, we're situationally hitting better, we're getting a couple two-out hits with guys in scoring position and the big thing here is our starting pitching has been fantastic."

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zunino shows off power with 452-foot homer

Zunino shows off power with 452-foot homer

SEATTLE -- Catcher Mike Zunino went where few have gone in Safeco Field history on Tuesday night, blasting a home run over the out-of-town scoreboard behind the Mariners bullpen in Seattle's 8-4 loss to the D-backs.

Nelson Cruz put a ball in the same area three innings later, but Zunino got the edge in the Statcast™ measurements, with his third-inning blast blast projected to land 452 feet from home plate compared to 440 for Cruz's smash.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iwakuma's struggles too much to overcome

Iwakuma's struggles too much to overcome

SEATTLE -- Rookie right-hander Zack Godley won his second straight start to open his D-backs career as Arizona topped the Mariners, 8-4, on Tuesday night at Safeco FIeld.

Godley (2-0, 2.25 ERA) gave up three runs on seven hits -- including tape-measure home runs by Mike Zunino and Nelson Cruz -- in six innings, but he got plenty of offensive support as the D-backs racked up 12 hits and a home run of their own from Ender Inciarte. Arizona has won four in a row to improve to 48-51.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nuno proving to be vital cog in bullpen

Nuno proving to be vital cog in bullpen

SEATTLE -- In a bullpen searching for solutions in recent weeks, Mariners left-hander Vidal Nuno is becoming a name to remember.

The 28-year-old Californian, acquired from the D-backs along with Mark Trumbo on June 3, has begun taking on an increasingly important role. With veteran southpaw Charlie Furbush on the disabled list and the overworked bullpen taking on water on various fronts, Nuno has stepped up with nine straight scoreless innings with five hits, two walks and six strikeouts over his last seven outings.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soccer star Lloyd to throw out first pitch

Soccer star Lloyd to throw out first pitch

SEATTLE -- Carli Lloyd, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and hero of the U.S. Women's World Cup soccer championship team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Mariners-Orioles game on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at Safeco Field.

Lloyd is a midfielder for the Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League and her team will be in Seattle to play the Seattle Reign FC on Aug. 12 at Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners burned in 10th by Seattle native Lamb

Mariners burned in 10th by Seattle native Lamb

SEATTLE -- Jake Lamb, a Seattle native playing his first Major League game back in his hometown, hit the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th as the D-backs knocked off the Mariners, 4-3, in Monday night's opener of a three-game Interleague series at Safeco Field.

Lamb drove in Paul Goldschmidt with a fly ball to center off former D-backs reliever Vidal Nuno, who came into a one-out, bases-loaded situation after Seattle closer Carson Smith walked two and hit a batter.

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Greg Johns is a reporter and Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montgomery takes big step forward

Montgomery takes big step forward

SEATTLE -- While the Mariners' bullpen continues to spring leaks, Seattle got a much-needed solid start from rookie southpaw Mike Montgomery on Monday in a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the D-backs.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said his bullpen's woes are largely because it's been overtaxed due to too many short outings from the rotation, but Montgomery overcame a shaky first two innings to throw 6 2/3 innings of five-hit ball in his 11th start of the season.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.