video thumbnail

LAD@MIN: Van Slyke homers to take lead in the 12th

MINNEAPOLIS -- First pitch of Game 1 was 12:11 p.m. CT, last pitch of Game 2 was 11:22 p.m., and when the Dodgers' first doubleheader sweep in 12 years was finally secured with a 4-3 nail-biting win over the Twins in an Interleague series sweep, it wasn't only the $100 million superstars making it happen.

It was bench players Scott Van Slyke and former Twin Drew Butera slugging home runs in the top of the 12th inning to give 39-year-old Jamey Wright a victory after three innings of relief work, capping a day that began with a 9-4 win in the day game.

"It was important for us to show we can come from behind," Wright said of the Dodgers, who did it twice in this game. "It doesn't have to be one or two guys doing it."

Van Slyke's homer was his third, Butera's was his first since 2012. Van Slyke also tripled, walked twice and stole a base. The last Dodger to accomplish all of that in one game was Marlon Anderson in 2006.

Both came off Twins left-handed reliever Brian Duensing, whom Butera knows well.

"I was looking for something up and got a fastball middle," Butera said. "It's a slight advantage having caught him for four years. You know what his ball does and what he likes to throw. It's definitely easier knowing a guy and what he likes and when he likes it, if it runs, if it cuts. That helps anybody."

Kenley Jansen earned his 11th save, but first loaded the bases in the bottom of the 12th and allowed one run before stranding runners at second and third by getting Chris Colabello to line out to a well-positioned first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, triggering both celebration on the field and consternation on the Internet over Jansen's struggles.

"Sometimes you just hit them at people," said Colabello.

The Dodgers won despite stranding a staggering 16 of 24 baserunners -- 12 of them reaching on walks -- and committing two more errors for a season total of 31, which leads the Major Leagues. The errors resulted in an unearned run, or the Dodgers could have won the game in nine innings. Time of game was 5 hours, 11 minutes.

"Don't rain on my parade," manager Don Mattingly said when asked about the errors, before acknowledging that the unearned runs need to be minimized by better defense.

The big names were involved, too. Gonzalez homered, Yasiel Puig had two more hits before his streak of reaching base in nine consecutive plate appearances was snapped. Brian Wilson continued his rebound by retiring all three batters he faced, two on strikeouts, while stranding runners at the corners. Brandon League didn't allow any of six batters to hit a ball out of the infield.

The late game, a makeup of Tuesday night's rainout, began as a matchup of 26th-man callups. For the Dodgers, it was Red Patterson, a former Coach Store salesman drafted in the 29th round, making his Major League debut. For the Twins it was Kris Johnson, a former first-round pick of Boston who was pitching in the Independent League in 2011, making his first Major League appearance of the season and fifth of his career.

Johnson left the game first, after only 4 1/3 innings, even though he was pitching a shutout and leading, 1-0. There were six walks, though, along with 106 pitches.

Patterson survived a 30-pitch first inning and settled into a groove. He retired 11 consecutive batters at one point, but lasted only one-third of an inning longer than Johnson. The only two hits he allowed were to the first two batters he faced, but he walked three and made 87 pitches. League stranded the two runners he inherited from Patterson.

"That was a blast," said Patterson, who was joined by his parents, wife and close friend. "I enjoyed every moment of it. In the first inning, I had a lot of nerves, but I got into a rhythm, even though I didn't have a breaking ball. This was everything I could ask for. When I got the call, I had a tear in my eye, to be honest. It's the second-greatest feeling to getting married."

The Dodgers tied the game in the sixth inning. Van Slyke tripled high off the center-field fence, shaking up center fielder Aaron Hicks, who slammed into the fence and was later removed with concussion-like symptoms. Juan Uribe then singled up the middle to score Van Slyke, the ball glancing off the pitching hand of reliever Anthony Swarzak, who also stayed in the game.

Puig was involved in another controversial play while batting in the sixth inning after the Dodgers tied the game on Uribe's single. After Dee Gordon's two-out walk, a Puig swing appeared to clip catcher Josmil Pinto's glove, but plate umpire Tim Timmons did not call it. Puig eventually walked and Hanley Ramirez left the bases loaded by popping out.

The Twins took the lead when the Dodgers committed back-to-back errors in the sixth on throws to first base. Uribe made a spinning stop of Plouffe's smash to third, only to throw the ball away as Trevor Plouffe took second. Colabello hit a tapper fielded by League, who whirled to throw to third base, but nobody was there as Uribe also charged the bouncer. League then threw off-balance to first, past Gonzalez, as Plouffe scored the unearned run.

Gonzalez, though, got the Dodgers even again, leading off the seventh inning with his ninth homer off Michael Tonkin, an opposite-field shot into the Dodgers bullpen.

MLB.com Comments