SEATTLE -- Over a 21-year Major League playing career that covered 10,835 at-bats, along with 16 years as a manager or coach, Twins manager Paul Molitor said he had never seen a play quite like the one that preserved the Twins 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Friday night."Not to
SEATTLE -- Over a 21-year Major League playing career that covered 10,835 at-bats, along with 16 years as a manager or coach, Twins manager Paul Molitor said he had never seen a play quite like the one that preserved the Twins 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Friday night.
"Not to end the game," he said. "A lot of it blurs together over about four decades I guess, but to record a double play where there's not a force in order like that in a situation where the tying run's 90 feet away, it's just a bizarre ending. We haven't caught a lot of breaks, and we caught one there at the end tonight for sure."
With the Twins nursing the one-run lead, closer Kevin Jepsen came on in the ninth and walked Nelson Cruz, who gave way to pinch-runner Shawn O'Malley. Kyle Seager then ripped a single through the right side, sending O'Malley to third.
Dae-Ho Lee then flied out to right, but not deep enough to score O'Malley.
With Franklin Gutierrez batting, Seager tried to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt. Catcher Juan Centeno fired to second baseman Brian Dozier, catching Seager in a rundown. Dozier threw to third, catching O'Malley diving back into the bag for the out. Third baseman Eduardo Nunez then threw to shortstop Eduardo Escobar, who tagged Seager out at second.
The Mariners challenged both plays, but replay confirmed the calls.
And just like that, the game was over thanks to the 2-4-5-6 double play, and the Twins had won their third straight.
"We're hanging by a thread there," Molitor said. "Cruz did a nice job of working the walk and Seager jumped on the first pitch and now you're trying to figure out how to extend the game possibly and somehow we wiggle out of it with the shallow fly.
"Then Seager being aggressive on the ball in the dirt, but Juan made a nice play and the next thing you know we've got guys caught in between and we finished plays on both ends."
Both O'Malley and Seager said they were trying to be aggressive and each thought he might have been safe on their respective plays.
"He made a good throw. I was trying to time it up to see if I could somehow get a good jump," O'Malley said. "I thought I was closer than what I was, so by the time I decided to shut it down I guess it was too late and I wasn't able to get back."
Seager bypassed an earlier possible opportunity on a ball in the dirt during Lee's at-bat.
"I probably should have gone on the first one," Seager said. "That would have definitely been a little better. It really couldn't have been worse, I guess."
Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.