Molitor tweaks lineup, bats break out 'from top to bottom'
SEATTLE -- Paul Molitor wanted to mix things up on Saturday night, so he put some fresh faces in the lineup, changed some things around, and watched with satisfaction as his Minnesota Twins responded with eight runs against the Mariners and an 8-5 victory to even the three-game series at 1-1 going into Sunday.
For example, he started Eduardo Escobar at shortstop in place of struggling Danny Santana and watched Escobar hit a solo home run off Seattle starter James Paxton. He watched Shane Robinson hit safely in the fifth of his last six games and up his batting average to .385. He watched Eduardo Nunez get two hits and two RBIs, Brian Dozier go 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI from the leadoff spot, and veterans Joe Mauer and Torii Hunter drive in a run apiece.
"It was a good night offensively from top to bottom," Molitor said. "There was a lot of contribution. And we talk about if we're effective offensively, it's going to be balance. I don't think they care too much about where they hit. They just kind of look and go play. And tonight we got some good results offensively."
Mauer, who singled in a run in the sixth inning to break an 0-for-14 slump against the Mariners, said his team isn't merely being opportunistic.
"I think we're getting more guys in scoring position, so that helps," Mauer said. "But it's always nice to bring guys in when they're out there, and we did a good job of it tonight.
"We've got guys that are battling and we could see that at the end of last year. We had a lot of young, talented guys, you throw some veterans in there like Torii, you have some good at-bats and this can be a pretty good lineup."