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Bullpen implosion kills Twins' late offensive explosion

Minnesota had 5 errors in a game for the first time since 1994.
Trevor May

The Twins lost 9-6 to the Mariners in a wild finish at Target Field Wednesday night, with the bullpen again crumbling late in the game. 

Trailing 1-0 in the the seventh inning, the Twins got a solo homer from Marwin Gonzalez to tie the game. But then the wheels fell off in the top of the eighth with Trevor May and Blake Parker entering the game out of the bullpen after Jose Berrios and Mike Morin got through the first seven innings. 

May walked Edwin Encarnacion, gave up a single to Daniel Vogelbach and then allowed the go-ahead run to cross home plate on a sacrifice fly. Parker replaced him and got rocked, giving up an RBI single and later served up a pitch that Shed Long blasted over the right-field wall for a three-run homer – his first career homer. 

Just like that the Mariners led 6-1. 

Minnesota came right back with three runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by a solo homer from Max Kepler and two-out, RBI singles from Mitch Garver and Gonzalez. 

Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Miguel Sano led off with a sharp single to center and Byron Buxton followed with a 432-foot, game-tying two-run homer to complete the comeback. 

But the bullpen and defense fell apart again in the 10th inning, with errors by Sano and C.J. Cron compounding problems caused by Tyler Duffey giving up a lead-off double and a pair of walks. Three unearned runs scored and that was the ballgame. 

Minnesota had five errors in a game for the first time since 1994. 

Minnesota's bullpen ERA is now 4.73 and opponents are hitting .261 against Twin relievers. That's just six points shy of the Ranger bullpen's AL-worst .267 opponent batting average. 

In June, the Twins' bullpen is sporting a 6.40 ERA having surrendered 23 earned runs in 32 1/3 innings. 

The Twins and Mariners wrap up the three-game series at 12:10 p.m. Thursday. 

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