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Twins pummel Mariners with homer barrage

Seattle Mariners catcher Omar Narvaez (left) reacts after Minnesota Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop (right) hits a three run home during the third inning at T-Mobile Park on Saturday, May 18. Jennifer Buchanan / USA TODAY Sports1 / 2
Minnesota Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26) slides safely into second for a double after Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford (3) can't glove the throw during the second inning at T-Mobile Park on Saturday, May 18. Jennifer Buchanan / USA TODAY Sports2 / 2

SEATTLE -- C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop each hit two home runs, and Byron Buxton hit a grand slam as the visiting Minnesota Twins belted six homers while cruising to a 18-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

It was the fifth time this season the Twins hit five or more home runs in a game, making them the first team in major league history to accomplish that feat before June 1.

Buxton and Schoop each finished with five RBIs, while Cron, who also doubled and flew out to the warning track in left, finished with four. Miguel Sano also homered, and Marwin Gonzalez went 3-for-6 with a double as Minnesota pounded out 19 hits while extending its winning streak to a season-best five games.

Tyler Duffey (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Jose Berrios, who failed to go the required the five innings to pick up the victory despite being staked to a 15-0 lead in the fifth inning. Berrios, who allowed just two singles over the first four innings, gave up four runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. Duffey gave up one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Wade LeBlanc (2-1), activated from the injured list before the game and making his first start since April 12 after suffering a sprain of his right oblique, took the loss, allowing seven runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Minnesota batted around in both the second and third innings, scoring five runs in both while taking a 10-0 lead. It marked the first time since July 25, 1996 against Boston that the Twins batted through the order in back-to-back innings, which was also the last time Minnesota scored five or more runs in back-to-back innings.

Cron opened the scoring with the 100th home run of his career, and Buxton made it 5-0 with the second grand slam of his career. Cron then led off the third with his second homer in two innings and 12th of the season to up the lead to 6-0. Sano followed with a solo shot, and Schoop added a three-run drive to make it 10-0.

The Twins upped their lead to 12-0 in the fourth on RBI singles by Jason Castro and Buxton, and made it 15-0 in the fifth thanks to a two-run double by Cron and a sacrifice fly by Sano.

Seattle batted around and had six hits -- including an RBI single by Edwin Encarnacion, who finished with three hits -- while scoring four runs and chasing Berrios to cut it to 15-4 in the fifth.

Schoop hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and Eddie Rosario had an RBI single in the eighth to end the scoring.

Backup catcher Tom Murphy pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Mariners, including back-to-back strikeouts of Sano and Castro.

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