Martín Pérez rebounded from his first loss of the season to overpower Seattle into the seventh inning, Max Kepler drove in three and the Minnesota Twins beat the Mariners 7-1 Friday night for their fourth straight victory.
Pérez (6-1) was knocked around for three earned runs and lasted just five innings in his last outing. But the lefty became the third Minnesota pitcher with six victories, joining José Berríos and Jake Odorizzi, as he worked free from a jam in the first inning and avoided trouble the rest of the way.
Pérez allowed five hits and struck out seven while matching a season high with four walks over 6 2/3 innings. Seattle’s run came when Edwin Encarnación’s two-out RBI single in the sixth inning barely cleared the glove of shortstop Jorge Polanco. The Mariners had a chance to get to Pérez early but left runners at second and third in the first inning after consecutive strikeouts of Domingo Santana and Ryon Healy.
In his seven starts since joining the Twins rotation, Pérez has a 2.01 ERA in 44 2/3 innings.
Seattle starter Marco Gonzales (5-3) lost his third straight decision. He retired the first seven before Ehire Adrianza’s solo home run in the third inning. The Twins battered Gonzales for five runs and seven hits in the fourth and fifth innings. Kepler had the last of four straight hits in the fourth inning to drive in a run and added a two-out, two-run single in the fifth inning.
Encarnación hit the 350th double of his career in the first inning, although the ground-rule double bouncing over the wall ended up costing Seattle a run. He joined Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera as only active players with at least 350 doubles and at least 350 home runs.
Seattle made a flurry of roster moves mostly to bolster arms in the bullpen. The Mariners recalled right-hander Matt Festa and selection righty Ryan Garton from Triple-A Tacoma. Starter Erik Swanson was optioned to Tacoma and left-handed specialist Zac Rosscup was designated for assignment. The move to option Swanson leaves a hole in Seattle’s rotation, and manager Scott Servais was unsure whether it would be a bullpen day or if a starter would be called up from the minors the next time Swanson was scheduled to pitch.
Seattle also claimed RHP Andrew Moore off waivers from San Francisco and designated for assignment RHP Nick Rumbelow. Moore was assigned to Double-A Arkansas.
Twins: Berríos (6-2) had a five-game win streak snapped in his last start against the Angels when he allowed a career-high 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Berrios is 1-2 in three career starts vs. Seattle.
Mariners: Wade LeBlanc (2-0) is expected to be activated off the injured list and make his first start in more than a month. LeBlanc suffered a strained oblique on April 12.