Dodgers 4 11 2
Twins 3 6 1
WP- Wright (2-1)
LP- Duensing (0-1)
S- Jansen (11)
HR- Gonzalez (9), Van Slyke (3), Butera (1)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Dodgers swept the Twins in three games over a 24-hour period and epic chilly marathon at Target Field. Game 2 of the doubleheader on Thursday evening went an excruciatingly long 12 innings and 5 hours and 20 minutes. Thanks to solo homeruns from Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera of all people in the top of the twelfth, the Dodgers were able to hold on for the 4-3 win even after Kenley Jansen pitched a near Broxtonian meltdown in the bottom of the twelfth.
Red Patterson made his MLB debut, and the lanky glasses donning hurler pitched very well after settling in. Other than a bit of a shaky first most likely due to nerves, Patterson only allowed 1 run on 2 hits through 4 2/3 innings. Brian Wilson pitched a perfect frame, but the real savior of the night was Jamey Wright who battled through 3 scoreless frames and preserved the tie for the Dodgers.
Three of the Dodgers four runs came from solo homeruns including a beautiful shot by Adrian Gonzalez who now leads the league with 9 homers. Scott Van Slyke also gave the Dodgers an offensive boost, and his booming triple to lead off the sixth inning proceeded Uribe’s RBI single.
Minnesota’s pitching ultimately cost them the game, and the staff allowed an absurd 12 walks on the night. Although the Dodgers didn’t capitalize on those free passes, and the Boys in Blue left an unfathomable 16 men on base and were only 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Once again the Dodger defense was atrocious, and they collected another two errors on the night one of which was from Uribe and the other League. Luckily Drew Butera’s unlikely homerun in the twelfth was the difference maker, and it just reflects how bad this Minnesota pitching staff truly is. After all, Butera only has hit 5 total homeruns in his entire career.
Dee Gordon, getting the rare start against a left-hander, strikes out against Kris Johnson to open the first inning. Yasiel Puig hits a groundball to second base, and Dozier is unable to throw out Puig at first yet Yasiel is tagged out by the catcher Pinto after the umpires claim that Puig turned toward second which he didn’t. It’s ruled a hit for Puig. Hanley Ramirez draws a two-out walk. Adrian Gonzalez grounds into a force to end the inning.
Red Patterson goes to the mound in the home half of the first for his Major League debut. His first pitch is a called strike to Brian Dozier. Dozier promptly singles to center field. Joe Mauer also singles. Trevor Plouffe grounds out to Gordon, but Mauer roadblocks Dee causing him to throw late to first which breaks up the double play. Dozier takes third on the play. Chris Colabello walks to load the bases up. Dozier comes in to score on the sacrifice fly by Pinto, 1-0 Twins. Chris Hermann pops out to end the inning, and after 30 pitches that could have been much worse.
Scott Van Slyke and Justin Turner draw walks in the second, but Drew Butera strikes out to end the inning.
Patterson battles the butterflies in his stomach, and he pitches a nice 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the second including collecting his first Major League strikeout against Pedro Florimon.
Puig singles with one out in the top of the third, and that’s his second hit of the game. Hanley Ramirez singles to left field past a diving Florimon. Gonzo swings and misses on a breaking ball down and away. Kemp also strikes out, and Puig and Hanley are stranded.
Patterson induces three groundouts in the third inning, and he has settled down now since that shaky first inning.
In the fourth, Uribe and Butera draw walks. Johnson has given out five free passes tonight so far. Gordon grounds out, and the Dodgers strand another two runners. How has Kris Johnson shut out the Dodgers over four innings?
Red Patterson pitches another nice inning in the bottom of the fourth as the Twins go down in order.
Johnson walks another batter, Hanley, with one out in the fifth. With Gonzo at-bat, a wild pitch allows Hanley to move over to second. Gonzo singles to left, and Hanley saunters into third. That’s going to be all for Kris Johnson. Anthony Swarzak will take over on the mound. Kemp grounds into a double play, and the Dodgers strand another two runners.
Kris Johnson pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed no runs on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 6 walks on 106 pitches.
Sam Fuld walks to lead-off the bottom of the fifth, and that’s the first base runner the Twins have had since the first inning. A wild pitch with Florimon batting allows Fuld to advance to second. Florimon walks Dozier flies out to right. Patterson’s debut has come to an end, and Don Mattingly will bring in Brandon League from the bullpen. League induces a force out from Mauer to end the inning.
Red Patterson went 4 2/3 innings and allowed 1 run on 2 hits with a strikeout and 3 walks on 87 pitches.
In the sixth, Scott Van Slyke crushes a ball to center field for a triple! Aaron Hicks slams into the wall as the ball bounces off his glove and the wall. There’s a injury delay for a moment to check on Hicks who stays in the game. Uribe comes up with a RBI single up the middle, and the Dodgers tie it up! Turner grounds into a force, and Butera grounds out. Gordon and Puig both walk to load the bases up with two outs. The Twins will make a pitching change, and Michael Tonkin comes in and promptly retires Hanley Ramirez on one pitch as he pops out in foul territory.
Cue the bad defense in the bottom of the sixth. Juan Uribe‘s throwing error on a Plouffe grounder opens the door to more bad defense and subsequent Minnesota runs. Colabello singles on a ball hit to League who also in turn throws the ball away. Plouffe scores, and the Twins take a 2-1 lead.
Adrian Gonzalez says no problemo amigos as he smacks his ninth homerun of the season over the center field fence to lead-off the seventh! It’s all tied up again, 2-2. Kemp whiffs, and SVS walks. Van Slyke steals second with Uribe batting. Uribe draws a walk anyways. Turner lines out to center field. Butera walks to load the bases up, and the Twins will go the pen again. Caleb Thielbar will pitch to Dee Gordon. Gordon hits a line drive, but Dozier snags it to rob the Dodgers of at least a couple of runs! The Dodgers leave three more men on base, and they have now left 14 men on base.
Casey Fien will pitch the eighth for the Twins, and he strikes out Puig to begin the inning. Hanley is called out on a check swing, and Hanley and Mattingly are fuming since the home plate umpire calls the strike but the first base umpire says no swing. Gonzo flies out to center. That’s the first time tonight the Dodgers have been retired in order.
Paco allows a lead-off walk to Dozier in the bottom of the eighth followed by a single by Mauer. Brian Wilson will be coming in with the Twins threatening with two on and nobody out. Plouffe flies Wilson strikes out Colabello and Pinto to wiggle out of the jam! Wilson is looking a lot better over his last two relief appearances.
Jamey Wright is the fifth pitcher of the night for the Dodgers, and he walks Fuld with one out to put the winning run on. Wright rears back to
strike out Kubel. Pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar hits a soft roller in front of the mound, and Wright takes care of the last out. Extra innings here we come.
Brian Duensing comes out of the Minnesota pen in the top of the tenth. Turner, Butera, and Gordon quickly go down in order.
Mauer singles with one out in the bottom of the tenth off Wright. Plouffe whiffs. Colabello grounds out.
Hanley barely misses a homer in the eleventh, but he does double off the left field wall with one out. Gonzo nor Kemp can’t bring home Hanley, and Kemp strikes out for the third time going 0-for-6 on the night.
Wright pitches another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eleventh.
Scott Van Slyke leads off the top of the twelfth with a solo homerun to center field! The Dodgers take a 3-0 lead, their first lead of the long night. Then in what could be the most amazing homerun I have ever seen, Drew Butera hits a solo homerun to left field! The Twins’ pitching is so very bad. Dodgers lead 4-2. Gordon singles and advances to second on a throwing error by Dozier. Jared Burton comes in to pitch to Puig. With Puig batting, Gordon steals third, his 15th stolen base of the season. Puig strikes out swinging to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen comes in for the bottom of the twelfth to hopefully end this marathon of a doubleheader. Kubel drops a base hit in front of Kemp. Escobar walks. Dozier walks, and the Twins now have the bases loaded with nobody out. Kubel tags up and scores on a Mauer sac fly, and it’s 4-3 Dodgers. Plouffe flies out to Puig in right field, and the runners tag up and Escobar tags up and moves to third. Colabello lines out to Adrian Gonzalez for the final out and we all let out our breathe. I’m not sure how Gonzo still has those reflexes after playing in every inning this series. He’s amazing.
The Dodgers improve to 17-12 after completing the three-game sweep of Minnesota. They now head to much warmer weather in Miami for a three-game set starting tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. PT Josh Beckett will face Tom Koehler in Game 1 on Friday.
The Dodgers sweep, and now I sleep!