SEATTLE -- Each of the Twins' victories in a three-game sweep of the Mariners had one thing in common: Home runs by both Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano.In the Twins' 5-4 win Sunday at Safeco Field, Mauer homered in a third consecutive game for the first time since his MVP
SEATTLE -- Each of the Twins' victories in a three-game sweep of the Mariners had one thing in common: Home runs by both Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano.
In the Twins' 5-4 win Sunday at Safeco Field, Mauer homered in a third consecutive game for the first time since his MVP season of 2009, when he hit .365 with 28 homers and 96 RBIs.
Sano extended his home run streak to four consecutive games for the first time in his career. He has hit eight of his 11 homers since May 11.
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"I felt pretty good," said Mauer, who was 5-for-12 in the series with two walks. "The last three days I felt like I was really driving the ball, using my legs, and I was glad to see a couple go out."
The Twins trailed, 2-1, when Mauer opened the fourth inning with his seventh home run, an opposite-field shot to left off Mariners starter Taijuan Walker.
"This series, Seattle was really working me away," Mauer said. "I didn't really see a whole lot in. I was lucky to take advantage of that on a couple pitches. That was kind of the game plan. I got a couple good pitches and hit them well."
The powerful Sano, who hit 18 home runs last season as rookie after making his Major League debut on July 2, followed up with a fly ball to left that he didn't think was hit well enough to get over the wall.
"When I hit it, I thought it was a popup," Sano said. "I didn't extend my hands."
Eight of Sano's 11 home runs this season have come on the road.
"He's a big boy, and when he gets a hold of it, it can go a long way," Mauer said. "That one, he probably didn't get all of it and still got it out of the ballpark, and this is a big park. It's pretty fun to watch him hit and to go out there and take a couple hacks at it."
Seattle starter Ricky Nolasco, who had not won since his only previous victory on April 21, was the beneficiary of the long-ball barrage, which also included a solo homer in the second by Robbie Grossman.
"Obviously, homers are a big, crucial part of any offense," Nolasco said. "To get those guys going like that is great. Sano can hit it out of any park, so I'm sure that's great for his confidence and for this lineup. Any time you can get a run on the board with one swing of the bat is good."
Bolstered by eight homers in the series, the Twins bore little resemblance to the team that came in with a 4-19 road record, worst in the Majors. It was Minnesota's first road sweep of the season, and the Twins are now 8-1 in their last nine games in Seattle. The sweep knocked the Mariners out of first place in the American League West.
"You look at their lineup, what Mauer and Sano did against us this series, they're talented," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I'm sure in their minds they're playing below what they expected to do this season. But for whatever reason, they play pretty good in Safeco Field. In recent years they've come in here and swung the bats pretty well. We certainly didn't take them for granted."
Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.