MINNEAPOLIS — It’s not easy to pick the brightest of many bright spots for Minnesota’s offense Tuesday.
Perhaps it was Eddie Rosario’s three-homer performance. Maybe it was Eduardo Escobar’s five-hit night. Or it could be the fact that the Twins combined for a franchise-record 28 hits.
All of that amounted to a record-setting night for Minnesota and a big victory for the Twins in a 20-7 rout of Seattle.
“It’s obviously a special night for your hitters,” said Twins manager Paul Molitor. “It was spread out pretty well, but obviously a nice response to a tough start to the homestand last night.”
Rosario’s three home runs as the No. 9 hitter and Escobar’s five singles gave Twins starter Kyle Gibson plenty of run support. Rosario homered in back-to-back innings to pace Minnesota’s offensive outburst.
Minnesota scored seven runs in the third and seventh innings. The Twins also scored four in the second.
The Twins collected eight consecutive hits in the third inning. Eight Twins recorded multiple-hit games with Escobar, Kennys Vargas and Jason Castro also finishing with four hits. Seattle won the series opener 14-3 on Monday.
Mariners right-hander Christian Bergman didn’t last three innings in Tuesday’s start. The Twins chased Bergman (3-4) with two outs in the third after he allowed nine runs on 10 hits. Bergman gave up two runs (one earned) in his previous start, which also came against Minnesota.
“Rough night for Bergie,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “A lot of balls up middle of the plate on a night where the ball was carrying very well in this ballpark.”
Gibson (4-4) allowed six runs and 12 hits in six-plus innings. He wasn’t nearly as sharp as his last outing — also against the Mariners — in which he held Seattle to one run in six innings. Regardless, Gibson earned his third straight victory.
Minnesota’s 20 runs were most the Twins have scored this year and helped snap a five-game home losing streak. The two teams combined for a Target Field record 42 hits.
“It feels great,” Rosario said. “When everybody’s hitting good and your team wins, everything is happy.”
Seattle was on the wrong side of history in another category as the 28 hits allowed were the most in Mariners franchise history. The 20 runs were the most Seattle’s pitchers have allowed this year.
“Obviously the close games are the tough ones, but every loss is a little bit hard to swallow,” Mariners catcher Mike Zunino said. “Hopefully this one we can just sort of write it off and come back ready to pitch and play tomorrow.”
With the game out of hand in the eighth, Mariners catcher Carlos Ruiz made his first appearance as a pitcher. Ruiz, who hit 82 mph on the radar gun, gave up a run on two hits. His outing came one game after Twins catcher Chris Gimenez pitched in mop-up duty for Minnesota.
After leading 2-0 early, Seattle’s lead grew to 3-0 when Jarrod Dyson hammered the first pitch he saw from Gibson over the fence in right-center field. It was Dyson’s third homer of the year, a new career high for Dyson.
Minnesota used the long ball to respond in the second. Max Kepler put the Twins on the board with a solo shot to lead off the inning. Vargas and Escobar followed by reaching base, and Vargas scored from third on a chopper to the pitcher that Bergman threw to first instead of home plate.
Rosario put his club ahead in the second inning on a first-pitch offering from Bergman, which Rosario hit 436 feet into the second deck in right-center field. That gave Gibson a 4-3 lead.
The Twins used a big third inning to take the lead for good, scoring seven runs against Bergman and reliever Casey Lawrence to take an 8-3 lead. Vargas’ RBI single kept the lineup moving, while Escobar and Castro also drove in runs in the third. An RBI single by Jorge Polanco chased Bergman.
Rosario homered again in the third inning, his second in as many at-bats. Each homer came on the first pitch, and the second put Minnesota up 11-3.
Given an eight-run lead, Gibson gave a few runs back in the fourth. Dyson, Zunino and Ben Gamel all doubled to make it 11-5.
Castro’s two-run single capped Minnesota’s seventh inning and made it 19-6.
NOTES: Twins closer Glen Perkins threw a simulated inning Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla. Perkins has not pitched this season after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He was originally not expected to return to action until after the end of June, although that timetable could be pushed back a bit. … Minnesota RHP Ryan Pressly was recalled from Triple-A Rochester. Pressly took the roster spot of right-hander Alex Wimmers, who was optioned to Rochester after Monday’s loss. … Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to throw three innings or 45 pitches Wednesday as he rehabs with Class-A Modesto. Iwakuma has been on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation and hasn’t pitched for the Mariners since May 3.