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Updated: July 31st, 2010 8:18pm
Slowey tosses eight shutout innings as Twins win seventh straight

Slowey tosses eight shutout innings as Twins win seventh straight

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Maybe Kevin Slowey has found his form.

Slowey (10-5, 4.44) pitched eight shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out five, as the Minnesota Twins cruised to a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

The victory gives the Twins a season-high seven-game win streak, and it marks just the second time in 21 starts that Slowey has pitched beyond seven innings.

"He worked fast," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think him and Mauer worked about as well (together) as you've seen all year long, and they were on the same page, and that's a good thing.

"I think his game plan was to get the ball, get the sign, and throw the ball. That's something that he's talked about, and the catcher's talked to him about, and they worked really well tonight. Joe calls the ballgame, (Slowey) throws the pitches. You take a lot of pressure off the pitcher that way. Just go with the catcher. The guy knows what we're going to do, and that's what happened tonight."

The Twins jumped a 3-0 lead in the first inning off Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, courtesy of triples by Alexi Casilla and Delmon Young, a single by Joe Mauer, and a double by Jim Thome. Young added an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it 4-0.

Mauer finished the night 3-for-4 with a double, two singles and an RBI, raising his batting line to .313/.382/.468. Young finished 2-for-4 with two singles and two RBI, raising his line to .335/.366/.550.

After the game, Gardenhire told reporters Mauer will miss a couple games after receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing right shoulder.

Hernandez threw seven innings and allowed three earned runs, seven hits and a walk while striking out four.

LHP Francisco Liriano (9-7, 3.35) is scheduled to face LHP Luke French (0-2, 6.39) on Sunday afternoon -- first pitch at 1:10 p.m. on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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