Zack Greinke kept the Twins at bay while the Dodgers got contributions from up and down their lineup, beating Minnesota 6-4 in the opener of a potentially three-game series to improve to 8-1 against Gibsons in 2014.
In the land of 10,000 lakes the Dodgers got their 10,000th victory since joining the National League in 1890.
The Dodgers got back-to-back RBI singles from Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez in the third inning, then rallied for three more runs in the seventh. An RBI double from Andre Ethier chased starter Kyle Gibson, then Juan Uribe singled home two more runs against reliever Michael Tonkin.
Dodgers widen the gulf against Tonkin.— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) May 1, 2014
But that was it against Greinke, who struck out six and walked one, his 18th consecutive start allowing two runs or less. Greinke stayed in for one batter in the seventh, but Kurt Suzuki doubled. J.P. Howell relieved Greinke and got two outs but also loaded the bases for tightrope artist Chris Withrow.
The Dodgers tacked on a run in the eighth, then got a scoreless inning out of Brian Wilson in the bottom of the inning. Paco Rodriguez allowed a run in the ninth and needed 29 pitches to record his two outs.
He left with two runners on base and two outs in favor of Kenley Jansen. Plouffe grinded out an 11-pitch at-bat before hitting a two-run single off Jansen to cut the lead to 6-4, but the closer got Chris Colabello, representing the tying run, to close out the win.
The Dodgers first National League win came April 21, 1890 at Boston, a 7-6 win over the Braves. Their all-time record is 10,000-9,082 (.524)
Eight of the nine starters for the Dodgers had at least one hit, and either scored or drove in at least one run, or both. Carl Crawford, at 0-for-4, was the only starter not to reach base.
Greinke's run allowed was unearned, his first unearned run allowed since May 27, 2013, and just his third unearned run allowed since joining the Dodgers.
Greinke is 20-4 as a Dodger, and at .833 owns the highest winning percentage in franchise history (minimum 20 wins).
The Dodgers and Twins will try to play two games on Thursday. The morning game (10 a.m. PT) will feature Dan Haren for the Dodgers against Mike Pelfrey for Minnesota. In the nightcap of the day-night twinbill (4 p.m. PT) is expected to feature a pair of 26th men called up from the minors to start, likely Red Patterson for the Dodgers and left-hander Kris Johnson, the latter per Rhett Bohlinger of MLB.com.
Home runs: none
WP - Zack Greinke (5-0): 6+ IP, 7 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP - Kyle Gibson (3-2): 6⅔ IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (10): ⅓ IP, 1 hit