Being in charge of the Mariners’ infield in addition to his new duties as acting manager while Eric Wedge convalesces Robby Thompson was somewhat conflicted on Thursday. On the one hand he was obviously delighted with the Mariners’ 8-2 win over the Twins at Safeco Field their ninth victory in 10 games. On the other hand it galled Thompson that the Mariners’ infield committed three errors not to mention a couple of other less-than-stellar plays. So while Thompson praised Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma for bailing out the Mariner defenders during his stout six-inning stint he also made it clear that the M’s need to clean up their defense. “I think we were a little bit lackadaisical tonight in the infield’’ he said. “When you get situations where there’s three ground balls for double plays and Iwakuma gets them they should be turned. “I’m not frustrated; I think they need to be turned. They know that. I’ve already talked to them about it. Sometimes that happens and sometimes we don’t have an answer for it. We’ll tighten that up tomorrow.” The Mariners had 11 hits seven for extra bases to match their season high. The biggest blow was a three-run homer in the second inning by Nick Franklin off short-lived Twins starter Kevin Correia who didn’t make it out of the inning. The Mariners scored six in the second as they blasted three doubles and three singles in addition to Franklin’s eighth homer. The last American League rookie second baseman to reach eight homers in his first 49 games was Joe Gordon in 1938 according to Baseball Reference play index. Franklin connected on an 0-2 pitch. “Honestly 0-2 I was just trying to make contact and put the ball in play’’ Franklin said. “The infield was in and I was looking to get the ball in the air and get that run in somehow.” Dustin Ackley had a big game as well banging out two of the Mariners’ six doubles along with a single. Ackley who drove in two runs is 8 for 19 (.421) since the All-Star break.
Iwakuma, Mariners smash Twins, 8-2
Seattle Times | Jul 26