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Twins ambush Mariners ace Logan Gilbert with a 5-run 1st inning and cruise to an 11-1 win

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Manny Margot highlighted a five-run first inning for Minnesota with a three-run double off Seattle ace Logan Gilbert, and the Twins coasted to an 11-1 victory over the Mariners to win their fifth consecutive series on Thursday afternoon.

Pablo López (4-2) pitched into the seventh with a season-high 10 strikeouts to win his third straight start. Ryan Jeffers and Max Kepler each homered and drove in two runs, Jose Miranda scored three runs on two hits and Margot matched his career high with five RBIs for the Twins (22-15), who won for the 15th time in their last 17 games.

This matchup of premier American League starting pitchers didn't materialize at all. Gilbert (3-1) ominously issued a leadoff walk and hit his previous season high of five hits allowed in just eight batters.

The Twins got the bounces, like when Miranda checked his swing in the first inning and accidentally hit a slow-bouncing single up the third base line. But there were plenty of hard-hit balls, like the 104 mph drive Jeffers sent into the flower boxes above the wall in left-center field.

Gilbert failed to pitch into the sixth for the first time in eight starts this season. The 2018 first-round draft pick gave up eight runs, the most since he was a rookie in 2021, on nine hits and two walks while finishing five innings. The AL-leading ERA of 1.69 he took into the game rocketed up to 2.94.

López gave up one run on four hits without a walk in 6 1/3 innings.

But the stars of the show were at the plate for the Twins, who have averaged 6.6 runs and 10.1 hits over this 17-game surge. Kepler set his career high by stretching his hitting streak to 11 games and is batting .434 (23 for 53) with three homers and 14 RBIs in 16 games since coming off the injured list. Jeffers, who entered the game ranked third in the AL in OPS, went deep for the eighth time this season.


Twins SS Carlos Correa was given a rest day after playing in nine straight games following his reinstatement from the injured list.


The Mariners were waiting to announce their starter for Friday night, when they host Oakland to commence a three-game series. The A's will send RHP Paul Blackburn (3-1, 3.00 ERA) to the mound.

Twins RHP Joe Ryan (1-2, 3.54 ERA) pitches on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Toronto. LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-2, 2.72 ERA) starts for the Blue Jays.