SEATTLE — On a day when even his outs were hit well, Joe Mauer saved his best swing for last.
With two outs in the 11th inning, Mauer hit a two-run triple, lifting the Minnesota Twins over the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Sunday.
The hit to the gap was out of the reach of right fielder Nelson Cruz, and rolled to the wall as the runners scored and Mauer headed to third.
"I got to run around a little bit," Mauer said. "Off the bat, as soon as I saw it get by Cruz I thought I might have a chance, and once I was rounding second I said, 'Why not, let's go for it.'"
Seattle reliever Tyler Olson (1-1) walked Chris Herrmann to lead off the 11th. After a sacrifice bunt, Olson intentionally walked Brian Dozier. Shane Robinson fouled out before Mauer's triple.
Mauer had three hits and drove in three runs. In addition to his first triple of the season, he had an RBI double as the Twins won for the third time in four games.
"Right now, he's getting hits with men in scoring position," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "I'm glad he's at where he's at, and he certainly came through for us in a big-time fashion today."
Seattle went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners stranded runners on third in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this year, allowing two runs and five hits. Minnesota's bullpen took over and didn't allow a run. Gibson gave up a double to lead off the eighth inning before Aaron Thompson came on to get out of the inning.
Casey Fien (1-1) gave up one hit over two innings, and Glen Perkins closed out the 11th for his fifth save.
"Gibby pitched awesome today, and we were able to come out and help him out," Fien said.
Seth Smith hit his first home run of the year and also doubled for the Mariners.
Mariners starter Roenis Elias was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season. He took the rotation spot of Hisashi Iwakuma, who was put on the DL Friday with a strained muscle under his right arm. Iwakuma will be out two to four weeks.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was ejected in the top of the fourth by plate umpire Sean Barber. McClendon had come to the mound to talk to Elias, and as he walked back to the dugout he exchanged words with Barber and was thrown out for his first ejection of the season.
McClendon said he was upset at a pitch in the third inning which he felt should have been called a third strike on Shane Robinson, who singled before Mauer's double.
"He had strike three, and the guy gets a double and a run scores," McClendon said.
Twins: LHP Tommy Milone (2-0, 3.38 ERA) will make his fourth start of the season as Minnesota returns home to host Detroit. The game will open an 11-game homestand for the Twins.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (0-2, 10.66 ERA) will start at Texas, his first career start against the Rangers. He threw 1 1-3 scoreless innings of relief against the Rangers on September 7.
Twins: Starting RHP Trevor May left in the fourth inning Saturday night with a bruised right elbow after being hit by a line drive. Molitor said the Twins aren't sure if the injury will cause a problem for his next start. "The big question is when to get him to start throwing the ball a little bit and see what kind of pain level he has," Molitor said.
Mariners: RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (hyperextended right elbow) is likely 10 to 12 days away from returning to the team, McClendon said. Wilhelmsen, who has been on the DL since April 11, recently started throwing and will soon progress to working off a mound, McClendon said.
The Mariners officially recalled Elias from Triple-A Tacoma Sunday morning. To make room on the roster, LHP Lucas Luetge was optioned to Tacoma after Saturday night's game.
The ejection was the 30th of McClendon's career. He has been tossed 25 times as a manager and five times as a coach.