In recognition of the 2017 MLB Draft, which runs through Wednesday, we are including where and when each player was drafted. For complete coverage of the Draft -- which you can watch live in its entirety on MLB.com -- please visit Draft Central.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Yovani Gallardo tossed six innings of three-run ball and was backed with a season high in runs as the Mariners overmatched the Twins by a score of 14-3 on Monday night at Target Field. Seattle has now won 11 of its last 15 games, while Minnesota clings to a slim advantage atop the American League Central.
The run support in the series opener for Gallardo (No. 46 overall pick by Milwaukee, 2004 Draft, Trimble Technical HS in Texas) was a rarity. It marked the first time the Mariners had scored double digits when Gallardo was on the mound this season. In fact, Gallardo entered Monday with seventh-lowest run support -- 4.3 runs per game -- in the American League. He scattered seven hits and struck out five batters, while walking one.
"The guys came out and swung the bats today," Gallardo said. "It definitely takes a little bit of pressure off. I felt good. As the game went on, I felt better."
Seattle erupted for nine early runs off Minnesota left-hander Adalberto Mejia, who was handed the loss. Mejia allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 3 2/3 innings of work. He became the first Twins pitcher to allow nine or more runs in fewer than four innings since Vance Worley gave up nine runs in one inning against the Mets on April 12, 2013.
"It was one of his rougher starts from the get-go," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "They were all over his fastball tonight, and it just got to be where they poured it on once again. We had to suffer through another long game."
For good measure, the Mariners went deep with consecutive solo shots by Danny Valencia (19th round by Minnesota, 2006 Draft, University of Miami) and Mike Zunino (No. 3 overall pick, 2009 Draft, University of Florida).
Both homers in the top of the eighth came off Minnesota lefty Craig Breslow (26th round by Milwaukee, 2002 Draft, Yale University). It was the fifth time this year that the Mariners crushed back-to-back homers. According to Statcast™, Valencia's blast traveled an estimated 379 feet with an exit velocity of 112.9 mph, which was his hardest-hit home run in the Statcast™ era.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Four-spot answer: The Twins evened the score in the first at 2 as Joe Mauer (No. 1 overall pick, 2001 Draft, Cretin-Derham Hall HS in Minnesota) came through with a double. However, the deadlock was short-lived. Seattle scored four runs courtesy of five consecutive one-out hits in the top of the second, including a decisive two-run double by Mitch Haniger (38th overall by Milwaukee, 2012 Draft, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), who finished the night with four hits. Robinson Cano capped the four-run frame with a RBI single.
"When Mitch Haniger and all the guys kind of keep moving the line, it's a pretty fun offense to watch," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Gallardo re-focuses: Gallardo did not cough up a second lead after the team's second-inning outburst. Instead, he responded with a clean frame against the bottom of the order and retired eight of the next nine batters he faced over the following two-plus innings. It was a sign of improvement for the hurler, who has struggled with the big inning this season. In his last outing, Gallardo surrendered a one-run advantage to the Twins, in which he allowed four runs during the fifth inning in the eventual no-decision.
FEEL THE DRAFT
The first day of the 2017 Draft took place Monday, with the Twins, who had the top overall pick, selecting high school shortstop Royce Lewis at No. 1. They added college outfielder Brent Rooker at No. 35 overall, and right-handed pitcher Landon Leach at No. 37 overall.
The Mariners took college first baseman Evan White with their first pick, No. 17 overall. They added high school right-handed pitcher Sam Carlson with the No. 55 overall pick.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Nelson Cruz crushed a fastball from Twins catcher Chris Gimenez, who made his fifth relief appearance, during the ninth inning. Initially it was ruled a two-run homer, which would have been Cruz's seventh consecutive game in which he homered at Target Field. However, umpires convened and ruled the hit a double. Servais asked for a review, which upheld the RBI double for Cruz.
"I owe it to the player to take it to review," Servais said. "I know the score of the game and what it seems like. Players are out there busting their tail, and if there's a chance for it to be a home run, it needed to be looked at."
Mariners:Christian Bergman (24th round, 2010 Draft, University of California-Irvine) will make his second straight start against the Twins on Tuesday at 5:10 p.m. PT. The right-hander allowed four hits and two runs, one earned, in five innings in a loss to Minnesota last week. Bergman (3-3, 4.03 ERA) has surrendered just three total earned runs over his last three starts.
Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson (No. 22 overall pick, 2009 Draft, University of Missouri) will take the mound for the Twins on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Gibson, who is 3-4 with a 6.52 ERA this season, spun six innings of one-run ball against Seattle in his previous start.
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