Thome, Casilla home runs push Twins past Mariners 5-3Capps gets save in Twins' debut
By: Dave Campbell, Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Matt Capps worked a scoreless ninth inning for a save in his first appearance with the Minnesota Twins, preserving a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
Capps, acquired from the Washington Nationals the previous night, gave up a two-out single to Chone Figgins before striking out Casey Kotchman, ending the game with a pump of his fist. Of 94 career saves by Capps, he has 11 against AL teams.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire played with his enhanced bullpen like a shiny new toy, effectively using Jesse Crain and Jose Mijares for two outs each and Matt Guerrier for four outs before turning to Capps for the ninth. The right-hander drew a loud cheer when he jogged to the mound while "The Final Countdown" by ballad band Europe blared over the speakers.
Jim Thome and Alexi Casilla homered in support of Scott Baker (9-9), who evened his record with some help from another last-place opponent the Twins have fattened up on lately. Franklin Gutierrez had two hits and an RBI for the Mariners, who lost their fifth straight and made two costly errors behind Doug Fister (3-7).
Fister fell in an early hole when, with two outs in the second inning, second baseman Chone Figgins didn't field Michael Cuddyer's right-at-him grounder cleanly. Figgins recovered, grabbed the ball and cocked his arm to throw, appearing to have time to get the out, but he inexplicably held it and pounded his glove in frustration.
On the next pitch, Thome hit a high fly that carried far enough to reach the left-field seats for his 577th homer, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. That gave Thome 1,598 RBIs, pushing him past George Brett for sole possession of 32nd place.