Twins 4, Mariners 3, 10 innings


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Lew Ford led off the 10th inning with a game-winning home run off former teammate Eddie Guardado, lifting the Minnesota Twins over the Seattle Mariners 4-3 Sunday.

The homer, a 414-foot drive to right-center, was Ford’s second of the season and first since April 21. It came on a 1-2 pitch from Guardado (0-3), who played for the Twins for 11 seasons before signing with the Mariners in 2003.

Justin Morneau added a two-run homer for Minnesota, which completed a three-game sweep for its second sweep of the season. The other was April 11-13 against Oakland at the Metrodome.

Jose Lopez hit a two-run homer but made a costly mistake for the Mariners, who have lost five straight games. Ichiro Suzuki went 4-for-5 for his second four-hit game of the season.

Minnesota’s Joe Nathan (3-0) got out of a jam in the 10th to earn the victory.

The Mariners squandered several late-inning chances to go ahead.

In the 10th, Nathan allowed back-to-back singles to Suzuki and Lopez to start the inning.

Nathan was then helped by two outstanding plays in the outfield. Right fielder Michael Cuddyer made a nice catch on a drive by Raul Ibanez, and Suzuki failed to tag and advance to third because he was too far off second. Center fielder Torii Hunter then leaped against the center-field fence to snag a drive by Richie Sexson. Nathan retired Adrian Beltre on a fly to center to end the threat.

The Mariners had another golden chance to grab the lead in the seventh.

Suzuki hit a one-out triple to right-center. With Lopez at the plate, the Mariners tried a suicide squeeze. Suzuki broke toward home with the pitch, but Lopez popped it up to pitcher Johan Santana, who caught the ball and tossed it to third baseman Luis Rodriguez for a double play.

The Twins tied it at 3 in the sixth. Joe Mauer, who went 3-for-4, led off the inning with a ground-rule double to right-center off starter Joel Pineiro. Mauer moved to third on Hunter’s groundout and scored on Mike Redmond’s sacrifice fly.

Pineiro, who had a 10.93 ERA in losing his past three starts coming in, gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Santana, who had won four of his last five starts, allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He had five strikeouts to improve his AL-leading total to 80.

Ibanez’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead.

Notes: Mariners manager Mike Hargrove rested Carl Everett because “his legs were a little weary” and Hargrove didn’t want the DH to play another game on the Metrodome’s artificial turf. … Mauer was in the lineup as a DH for the third time this season. … Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire sat 3B Tony Batista, who has batted just .150 (3-for-20) against Pineiro.

AP-ES-05-28-06 1738EDT