It was an early edition of Los Angeles Dodger baseball today, as the team began a doubleheader with an early game in Minnesota. Mike Pelfrey took the mound for the Twins and Dan Haren was on the hill for the Dodgers.
In the top of the first, Yasiel Puig singled and stole second before Adrian Gonzalez walked, but Matt Kemp ended the inning with a grounder to shortstop. Haren struggled a bit in the bottom half and the defense didn’t help as an RBI single turned into an extra run when Carl Crawford threw the ball to nobody and Miguel Olivo picked it up and threw it back to the outfield.
However, the offense would put up three runs in the second after getting an RBI fielders’ choice from Dee Gordon and a two-run double from Puig. Haren retired the side in order in the second and struck one one. Gonzalez led off the top of the third with a walk and promptly scored on a double by Kemp. A Juan Uribe single would bring in Kemp and give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead.
Haren retired the side in order again in the third and the offense followed with the same in the top of the fourth. The Twins got a single in the fourth, but nothing else to give Haren three straight scoreless innings. Gonzalez walked for the third time to start the fifth. He was left stranded and Haren ran into some trouble in the bottom half.
A walk, a double and a single gave the Twins two runs to cut the lead to 5-4; however, the right-hander was helped by Hanley Ramirez leaping to get a liner and glove-flipping it to Gordon at second. It was initially ruled safe before manager Don Mattingly challenged the play and it was overturned. Haren then got the final out of the inning to escape with a one-run lead.
Nothing happened in the sixth, as the Dodgers wasted a pair of hits in the top half and the Twins went down in order in the bottom half. The offense broke out again in the top of the seventh with singles by Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, an RBI ground-rule double by Uribe followed by consecutive RBI singles by Olivo and Crawford. After 6.5 innings, the Dodgers now led 8-4.
Haren got two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh before Dozier singled and ended the right-hander’s day. J.P. Howell came in and retired Joe Mauer on the first pitch to end the inning. Puig led off the eighth with a walk and was stranded after a fly out and consecutive fielders’ choices.
Howell came back out for the bottom half and got a groundout to start the inning. Jason Kubel singled with one out and Josmil Pinto grounded to Ramirez. The shortstop tried to get the force at second and Gordon had trouble handling the ball, but it was initially ruled out. A review by the umpires overturned the call and gave the Twins two runners on with one out. Howell’s day was over as he gave way to Chris Perez. A fly out and a strike out ended the threat by the Twins and sent the Dodgers into the ninth with their four-run lead intact.
The Dodgers tacked on a run in the ninth after Ethier walked, Uribe singled and Olivo hit a sacrifice fly to make it 9-4. Perez came on to finish the game and promptly got a foul out to start the inning. He got a strikeout and a fly out to center to end the game and give the Dodgers a 9-4 victory.
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