- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - The hits keep coming for the Seattle Mariners. If only the runs would do the same.

The Mariners lost their third straight game at home to the Minnesota Twins, falling 4-2 Thursday night despite pounding out 12 hits.

They had 32 hits in the three losses and scored just five runs. Thursday, the Mariners loaded the bases three times and scored just one run.

“You can only do what you can do,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We hit the ball hard. It was just singles. We didn’t have a lot of opportunity for first and third or second to home.

“That just the way it is. I’d like to see doubles. It didn’t happen.”

The Mariners have scored just nine runs over their past seven games - going 2-5. During that stretch they have just two hits in 33 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

“We pitched pretty decent here,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But they can hit. These guys can swing the bat. We’ve gone through a little of the same thing.”

“They have a great pitching staff. I’ve talked to Lloyd about it. You know they’re searching, putting those big innings together like everyone else.”

The Mariners were tamed by rookie right-hander Yohan Pino (1-2), winning his first big league game in his fifth big league start.

Throwing 100 pitches, Pino allowed one run and seven hits in five innings, walked two and struck out four.

“(Pino) was fabulous,” Gardenhire said. “We gave him the game ball for his first major league win. We saw he had to battle for it. He made it through the fifth, which was huge.”

Kendrys Morales had the big hit, a two-run double in the fifth inning that gave the Twins a 4-1 lead.

Glen Perkins worked the ninth to pick up his 22nd save in 25 opportunities.

Tom Wilhelmsen (1-2) made his first major league start after 191 relief appearances for the Mariners, never pitching more than three innings in his career. He worked 2 2-3 innings, allowing two runs, one hit and three walks with three strikeouts.

McClendon used six relievers to cover the nine innings after Taijuan Walker, who would have started, was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma to keep him in rotation during the All-Star break. The decision also gave staff ace Felix Hernandez an extra day’s rest, making him available to start Friday against AL West-leading Oakland A’s.

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