- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - When things are going poorly for the Seattle Mariners, they’ll take any sign of optimism they can find.

On Friday they got seven innings from starter Chris Young, scored some runs after a long drought and had a fighting chance in the ninth. It was another loss in the end - 5-4 at the hands of the Minnesota Twins - but could be a step in the right direction.

Kyle Gibson allowed one run in seven innings, Brian Dozier and Josmil Pinto homered, and the Twins held on to beat the Mariners.

Dozier and Trevor Plouffe each hit RBI doubles in the third inning against Young (3-1) to give the Twins an early lead on their way to their fifth win in their last six home games.

“It just wasn’t my best. When I made a mistake they hit it and when I made a good pitch I felt like they hit it too,” said Young, who missed the 2013 season and hadn’t lost a game since 2012. “Some nights you run into a hot team and you tip your hat. They hit some balls that some guys don’t hit and when I made bad pitches, they hit those too.”

Gibson (4-3) hadn’t earned a victory since winning his first three starts this season. He struck out four and recorded 13 groundball outs to lower his ERA to 4.20.

Robinson Cano reached base for the 24th consecutive game and broke the Mariners‘ 21-inning scoreless drought with an RBI double in the fifth.

Dustin Ackley’s triple made it 5-3 in the eighth. Mike Zunino followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 5-4, but the rally ended when reliever Casey Fien struck out James Jones looking.

Eduardo Escobar’s RBI single that made it 5-1 in the sixth proved to be the game-winner.

Glen Perkins, who blew his second save Thursday, stranded Michael Saunders at third after a leadoff single in the ninth. Corey Hart popped out and Perkins made a nice play coming off the mound to throw out Justin Smoak at first for his 11th save.

“I saw a slider up, something that I could at least hit up in the air. I just got under it,” Hart said. “It’s one of those situations you want to be in and it’s tough when you don’t get it done.”

Young came into the game 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last three starts, but was cooled off by a Twins lineup that has totaled at least 10 hits in five straight games.

The 6-foot-10 right-hander allowed five runs on 10 hits - including a season-high seven extra base hits - in seven innings.

“He didn’t have his best stuff, but he really battled, gave us seven innings and really kept us in the ballgame,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We didn’t give him much support early. He’s going to have days like that. He wasn’t as sharp as he usually is, but all in all we were still in the ballgame.”

Seattle’s 21-inning scoreless streak tied a season high set April 12-14 and was nine innings shy of the club record.

The Twins have won 4,224 games in Minnesota, one more than when the franchise was in Washington.

Five of Minnesota’s last six wins have been by one run.

NOTES: Twins OF Sam Fuld said he felt better after having a setback Wednesday in his recovery from a concussion sustained two weeks ago. … Injured Mariners lefty James Paxton (strained back) will throw two innings in a simulated game and right-hander Taijuan Walker (sore shoulder) will throw 45 pitches in a bullpen session on Saturday. … Left-hander Roenis Elias (3-2, 3.69) makes his ninth major league start for the Mariners on Saturday afternoon. He will face Samuel Deduno (0-2, 3.64), who is making his third start since joining the rotation after Mike Pelfrey went on the DL with a groin strain. … Pelfrey made his first rehab start for Triple-A Rochester on Friday and allowed one earned run in five innings.

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