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Mariners pounce on Twins early, cruise to 10-0 victory

J.P. Crawford homered on J.A. Happ's first pitch, Shed Long Jr. added a three-run triple an inning later and the Seattle Mariners thumped the Minnesota Twins 10-0 on Tuesday night.

Seattle starter Chris Flexen tossed eight sharp innings while striking out a career-high eight, and was backed by an early offensive outburst that plated five runs in the first two innings.

Crawford became the first Mariners player to homer on the opening pitch since Dustin Ackley in 2012 when he drove Happ’s fastball out to right field for his fourth of the season.

Seattle Mariners' Ty France hits an RBI-single off of Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Griffin Jax during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Seattle. (AP PhotoStephen Brashear)

Long, recently recalled from the minors after a lengthy recovery from a stress fracture in his shin sustained last season, provided the big blow in the second inning with a bases-loaded liner into the right-center gap and capped the triple with a belly-flop slide into third base.

Jake Fraley and Ty France added RBI singles, and Luis Torrens and France both hit solo homers late in the game. France had not gone deep since April 18. Seattle set a season high for runs and matched its season best in hits with 14.

Flexen (6-3) had never pitched beyond the seventh, but scattered four hits and twice had baserunners quickly eliminated by double plays. No runner reached second base for the Twins as Flexen walked none, and only a pitch count of 107 kept him from attempting to finish a complete game.

Seattle Mariners' J.P. Crawford rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.A. Happ during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Seattle. (AP PhotoStephen Brashear)

It was the sixth time in 12 starts this season that Flexen has allowed one earned run or none.

Happ (3-3) lasted just four innings, the third time in his past seven starts the lefty failed to pitch into the fifth. Aside from Crawford’s homer and Long’s triple, Happ wasn’t hit especially hard, but the quantity added up to trouble. His nine hits allowed matched a season high.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.A. Happ, center, meets at the mound with pitching coach Wes Johnson, right, shortstop Jorge Polanco (11), third baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Ben Rortvedt during the second inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Seattle. (AP PhotoStephen Brashear)

Twins: OF Byron Buxton (hip strain) ramped up his activity a bit, going through a full pregame workout with a little additional running added on, manager Rocco Baldelli said. It’s still unclear if Buxton will be activated for the series finale Wednesday or if the Twins will wait until after Thursday’s off day and a weekend series at Texas.

Mariners: Seattle remains hopeful OF Mitch Haniger will be back in the lineup in the next few days after fouling a pitch off his knee last Sunday in Cleveland. Haniger went through some pregame baseball activities and manager Scott Servais felt a stint on the injured list would not be needed for the starting right fielder.

UP NEXT

Seattle Mariners' Shed Long Jr. (4) is congratulated by Ty France (23) after scoring on a passed ball during the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Seattle. (AP PhotoStephen Brashear)

Twins: RHP Bailey Ober (0-0, 4.85 ERA) will make his fourth career start. Ober allowed two runs over five innings in his last start against Houston.

Mariners: LHP Justus Sheffield (5-5, 4.91) lasted just four innings in his last start against Detroit and has made it through six just once in his past six starts.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Seattle Mariners' Jake Fraley watches his RBI single off of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.A. Happ during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Seattle. (AP PhotoStephen Brashear)

Seattle Mariners' Shed Long hits a three-run triple off of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.A. Happ during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Seattle. (AP PhotoStephen Brashear)

Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson throws to first base for the out on a ball hit by Seattle Mariners' Ty France during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Seattle. (AP PhotoStephen Brashear)