Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dodgers sweep Twins

MINNEAPOLIS—After Yasiel Puig carried the Dodgers early, it was little-known Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera who came up big at the end of a long day.
Van Slyke and Butera homered in the 12th inning as L.A. held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 to earn a sweep of the day-night doubleheader yesterday.

Adrian Gonzalez also homered for the Dodgers, who stranded 16 runners in the five-hour, 11-minute game.
“At this time of the night, when you’ve played all night and you’ve put a couple wins under your belt, you’re willing to take them, move forward, and know that you got to play better to get where you want to go,” said Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly.
Puig tied a career high with four hits in L.A.’s 9-4 Game 1 win, then added two more in the nightcap.
Before grounding out in the fifth, Puig had reached base in nine-straight plate appearances.
Joe Mauer had three hits for the Twins, who walked 12 in the second game and 18 total.
Van Slyke led off the 12th and lined a 2-1 pitch from Brian Duensing (0-1) into the bullpen in left-centre field.
Butera followed with his first homer since July 12, 2012, when he played for the Twins.
“It feels nice to hit a home run any time,” said Butera, who caught all 12 innings and still had enough in the tank to hit the winning homer.
“It’s mentally and physically taxing,” he admitted. “You don’t want to make any mistakes.
“You want to be in the game physically as much as you are mentally.”
Jamey Wright (2-1) didn’t allow a run in three innings of relief.
Kenley Jansen loaded the bases in the 12th and allowed Mauer’s sacrifice fly, but got Chris Colabello to line out to first for his 11th save in 13 chances.
The pitching wasn’t great in Game 1, but it was much better than the never-ending night game.
Dan Haren (4-0) struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings to win the first game.
Mike Pelfrey (0-3), who hasn’t won at Target Field since April 16, 2013, gave up five runs and seven hits while walking three in four innings for the Twins.
If Pelfrey doesn’t pitch better soon, he could wind up in the bullpen.
“We’ve got to do something about it, we have to fix it,” stressed Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire.
“We’re trying to get him on the right path.”
Elsewhere in interleague play, Baltimore swept a doubleheader from Pittsburgh by scores of 5-1 and 6-5 (10 innings).

More stories