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Dodgers lose Dustin May, but win on a James Outman grand slam

LA wins sixth consecutive series

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers overcame an early blow after losing Dustin May, with James Outman’s grand slam in the seventh inning providing a 7-3 win over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers wrapped up a 5-1 homestand and a sixth straight series win.

A single inning microcosm

Baseball presents every imaginable and unimaginable scenario, within the entire of regular season that includes these many games, and today at the bottom of the seventh, we saw something unique.

The Dodgers entered the bottom of the seventh, trailing 3-2, after a Caleb Ferguson throwing error on a pickoff from second to third, giving Minnesota the lead.

José De León — yes, that José De León. Hello, old friend — was set for his second inning of work, having retired the side in order in the sixth. De León covered two-thirds of an immaculate inning, striking out Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman on six pitches, combined. All was well, and then Will Smith came up.

The Dodgers’ catcher kept the inning alive with a single, Max Muncy did the same, and with the Dodgers threatening, Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli made a move, replacing De León with Emilio Pagán.

Pagan walked Jason Heyward, and then in a déjà vu moment, the Twins walked in another run, at a crucial moment, by giving Miguel Vargas a base on balls, reminiscent of Monday’s walk-off in the 12th inning.

With the score tied, and Pagán needing to face at least one more batter, up came James Outman, with one hit in his last 15 at-bats.

The rookie outfielder has been struggling with the high heat, but much to his satisfaction, Pagan kept this one down, and James hit it out of the park man for a grand slam.

Prior to the seventh inning, the offense hadn’t scored much, but one can’t say enough about making Sonny Gray labor, and only cover four innings, today, needing 84 pitches to do so.

The Dodgers weren’t the only taxed bullpen in this matchup, and it certainly paid off by making the Twins unity covered four frames.

Dylan Covey came up, and not a second too late

The goal was that Clayton Kershaw would’ve been able to provide good length on Tuesday night, following the bullpen marathon on Monday. However, Kershaw ended up with one of his least efficient outings of the year, leaving the game after four innings, with a high pitch count, forcing the bullpen to cover over half of the game.

This created a ripple effect, and with a unity wholly gassed, and no rest in sight, as the Dodgers wouldn’t have an off-day for a week-plus, the organization called up Covey from Triple A.

Again, the hope was for May to provide length in this one, and if the game got out of hand, Covey’s number would be called on. Long story short, the game got out of hand, but not in any way pertaining to the result.

It got out of hand for the ‘pen immediately, as May left with right elbow pain after one inning of diminished velocity. May is headed for the injured list with a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow.

Covey entered and, considering the circumstances, the veteran right-hander did a heck of a job, keeping his pitch count in check to cover four-plus innings.

The Twins got some base runners on him, with five hits, and a walk, but the thirty-one-year-old kept the Dodgers in the game, surrendering only a pair of runs. Although, primarily assisted by the efforts of Victor González, who keeps piling up string performances.

Covey came out for the sixth inning but left a mess for González with the bases loaded, and no outs. González cleaned it up, getting Jorge Polanco, Donovan Solano, and Kyle Farmer in order, leaving all three on base.

Wednesday’s particulars

Home runs: Byron Buxton (9), Joey Gallo (10)

WP — Brusdar Graterol (2-1): 1⅓ IP, 1 strikeout

LP — José De León (0-1): 1⅔ IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts

Up next

After the early game, the Dodgers get a jump on a 10-game road trip, their longest of the season. First up is the Cardinals on a four-game set. For the opener on Thursday (4:45 p.m. PT; SportsNet LA, MLB Network), it will be southpaw Julio Urías’ turn, facing veteran Adam Wainwright.