It took seemingly forever, but the floodgates finally opened for the Dodgers offense, enough to outlast the Twins 7-2 on a cold and rainy night at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Three walks — one by Emilio Pagán, two by Caleb Thielbar — helped set the stage in the eighth inning. RBI singles by both Turners tripled the Dodgers run total, then catcher Will Smith broke it open with a two-run double.
The carousel kept going, with the Dodgers plating six runs in the inning to breathe life into an otherwise quiet offense. The season is only four games old at this point, but the Dodgers output on offense can be grouped into three phases:
- Fourth inning Friday: Five runs in Colorado
- The next 30 innings: Seven total runs
- Eighth inning Tuesday: Six runs in Minnesota
All that offense was immediately followed by an 88-minute rain delay in the bottom of the eighth, followed by Garrett Cleavinger and Evan Phillips recording the final six outs to finish off the win.
After an experimental spring that saw Andrew Heaney get hit around in Arizona, he got real, tangible results with a brand new, sweeping breaking ball, a pitch he and pitching coach Mark Prior discussed with Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic.
Whatever you call it, the pitch was working for Heaney, either directly in the form of nine swings and misses in 31 pitches, or in setting up the fastball, on which he got either a whiff or called strike in nearly half (14) of his 30 four-seamers.
Heaney struck out five in his 4⅓ innings, and the only run he was allowed was unearned, aided by a potential inning-ending double play ball on which Trea Turner lost his footing and got zero outs.
Chris Archer proved just as stingy, allowing only two hits and no runs in his four innings, striking out three in his debut with the Twins. But after a shortened spring, Archer was pulled after just 63 pitches.
The Dodgers found some semblance of life in facing Josh Winder’s first big league inning. The right-hander walked a pair in the fifth, then Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor picked his pocket with three stolen bases, after the Dodgers did not attempt a steal all weekend in Colorado.
Gavin Lux, who doubled earlier off Archer, continued his hot hitting with a 106.1-mph drive to center field. It was tracked down rather easily by Byron Buxton, as are most baseballs hit anywhere near his direction.
Lux added an RBI single in the eighth, and is 5-for-12 (.417) this season with a team-leading four runs batted in.
Home runs: none
WP — Daniel Hudson (1-0): 1 IP, 1 strikeout
LP — Emilio Pagán (0-1): 1+ IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
The stay in Minneapolis is a brief one, with a morning finale on Wednesday (10:10 a.m. PT, SportsNet LA). Clayton Kershaw makes his season debut for the Dodgers, facing former Padres right-hander Chris Paddack.