MINNEAPOLIS -- Pitching in short sleeves in sub-freezing temperatures, Jose Berrios was cruising through the first three innings at Target Field on Saturday, just as he had in his three-hit shutout last weekend.The cold may not have gotten to Berrios, but the Mariners eventually did. The Twins right-hander ran into
MINNEAPOLIS -- Pitching in short sleeves in sub-freezing temperatures, Jose Berrios was cruising through the first three innings at Target Field on Saturday, just as he had in his three-hit shutout last weekend.
The cold may not have gotten to Berrios, but the Mariners eventually did. The Twins right-hander ran into trouble in the fourth and fifth innings as Seattle's offense snapped out of an early-season cold spell to top the Twins, 11-4, in one of the chilliest games in Major League history.
Berrios (1-1) retired the first 10 batters he faced, but Kyle Seager's two-run shot off the right-field foul pole capped a three-run fourth inning. Berrios wound up with five runs and six hits on his ledger, while striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings.
"First time around, the game plan was inside -- attack inside," Berrios said. "The second time around, they figured it out."
The temperature at first pitch was 27 degrees, breaking the previous Twins record of 31 degrees, set on April 17, 2014. It was also the coldest recorded start temperature for a Mariners game, breaking the previous mark of 34 degrees in games at Detroit in 1996 and Chicago in 2013. The coldest recorded first-pitch temperature for any MLB contest is 23 degrees in a game between the Rockies and Braves in Denver in 2013.
Berrios said he doesn't feel comfortable pitching in long sleeves, so he stayed with his usual attire, despite some players being bundled up with hoods covering much of their heads.
"I was trying not to think about it," Berrios said of the weather. "Obviously, it's not my climate, my weather. I'm not used to it. It was just the way it is today."
Berrios said he had no trouble gripping the ball as he relied more on his fastball and curveball, staying away from his changeup against the Mariners.
"He was tremendously efficient there through the first three, including a highlight play by himself coming off the mound to get Ichiro's bunt," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "I just felt that he was trusting his fastball, which is fine. If you can hold on to your secondary pitches, that usually works out the second or third time through the lineup."
Mariners starter Mike Leake improved to 2-0 as he allowed three hits and two runs over five frames for Seattle, which broke the game open with a five-run eighth inning in which Guillermo Heredia also homered off the foul pole -- his a lined shot down the left-field line.
Miguel Sano had an RBI double and three walks for the Twins.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Morrison misses his chance: Sano's third walk of the game loaded the bases in the seventh with one out, which prompted Mariners manager Scott Servais to turn to right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio with left-handed hitters Eddie Rosario and Logan Morrison coming up.
Rosario struck out and then Morrison popped out in foul territory to preserve Seattle's two-run lead at the time. Morrison, in his first year with the Twins, is 1-for-19 to start the season.
"I don't think I'm happy with the way I've started, for sure," Morrison said. "Definitely frustrating, but this would be frustrating at any point in the season. Just happens to happen at the beginning."
Twins double up: The Twins finally got to Leake with leadoff doubles in the sixth by Joe Mauer and Sano, which knocked the Mariners' starter out after 92 pitches. But Leake didn't get a lot of help from Ichiro Suzuki in left field, as Mauer's hit dropped in front of the 44-year-old as he ran to his left in the gap, and Sano's got over his head. Statcast™'s catch probability was 88 percent on Mauer's double and 67 on Sano's. The Twins then cut the lead to 5-3 on RBI singles by Rosario and Eduardo Escobar off lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski before Dan Altavilla came on for the final two outs.
"He's got really good stuff, there's no question. He's a good athlete. We saw the play he made on Ichiro's bunt, the breaking ball. Obviously he's off to a good start this season. We put some good at-bats together, guys got in good hitting counts and put some good swings on him. Good day for our offense." -- Servais, on Berrios
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Because of the cold, both teams decided before the game to forgo use of the bullpens in the open air in left-center field, and instead had relievers warm up in the hitting cages behind the dugout. In the later innings, some players did make their way to the bullpen, with Minnesota's Thomas Pressly and Seattle's Nick Vincent warming up in the pen. Other relievers decided to stick with the indoor approach for warming up.
Lance Lynn will make his first career start at Target Field and his second start for Minnesota on Sunday. Lynn gave up five runs on three hits and six walks in his first outing last week at Pittsburgh. It will be his first career start against Seattle. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT.
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Brian Hall is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis who covered the Twins on Saturday.