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Dodgers 9, Twins 8: Dodgers outlast the Twins in 12 innings

The Twins showed resiliency on the road but the Dodgers just kept coming

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers walked it off on the Twins on, well, a bases-loaded walk in the 12th inning.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the more entertaining games of the young season, the Minnesota Twins came back from a mid-game 5-1 deficit that was still 6-3 in the eighth inning to force extra innings. But they also scored just one run after loading the bases with no outs in the 10th and allowed the tying run in the bottom of the frame, and then allowed the winning run without allowing a hit in the 12th as the Dodgers simply outlasted the Twins.

Twins starter Pablo Lopez struggled with the long ball early in the game. While he only allowed five hits, three of them were home runs including a pair of moonshots to Max Muncy. Ultimately, Lopez gave up five earned runs in 4 23 innings, striking out four. The Twins trailed 5-2 when he left the game.

The Twins were down 3-0 when Jorge Polanco nearly single-handedly manufactured a run, beating out an infield single, stealing second, and scoring on a Kyle Farmer single. Muncy hit his second home run in the bottom of the third to make the score 5-1.

Polanco struck again in the fourth, this time in the form of a home run to right field to cut the deficit to three runs.

The Twins were down by the same score in the top of the seventh inning when Christian Vazquez slapped a two-out single to right field off Shelby Miller, prompting a Dodgers pitching change. With lefty Caleb Ferguson coming in to pitch, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli plugged in Donovan Solano in place of Joey Gallo. Solano walked, and Alex Kirilloff singled, loading the bases for Carlos Correa. Ferguson uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the Twins to draw within 5-3 before Correa grounded out to short.

After Emilio Pagan gave the run right back in the bottom of the frame, the Twins got the big hit they’d been searching for all night from Trevor Larnach in the top of the eighth.

Back down by three, Byron Buxton singled and Polanco doubled to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Larnach stepped up to the plate and clobbered a fastball into right-center off of Yency Almonte, tying the game at six.

However, the Dodgers just kept coming as Griffin Jax’s hard luck season continued. After getting two quick outs in the bottom of the inning, he allowed a double off the wall to Miguel Vargas before a weak groundball from David Peralta (apparently) snuck over the bag at first for a go-ahead double. Replays were somewhat inconclusive, but it was absolutely close and the unchallengeable play stood. The Twins were back down by a run at 7-6.

Now it was the Twins' turn to not quit. Correa coaxed a one-out walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Michael A. Taylor. It was a prescient move by Baldelli, as Buxton rocketed a double to the wall in left-center and Taylor was able to score on a play that almost certainly would not have plated Correa. But the Twins stranded Buxton at second with no outs in what quickly became a recurring theme in the late/extra innings.

Jhoan Duran worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning, however, giving the Twins a chance to take the lead on the road in the top of the 10th. They did indeed, as a wild Phil Bickford walked Kyle Farmer and misplayed a sacrifice bunt attempt from Willi Castro and the Twins quickly loaded the bases. Vazquez walked to give the Twins an 8-7 lead, but Solano and Kirilloff both struck out and Taylor flew out to the warning track to end the inning.

Duran got Muncy to fly out leading off the bottom of the 10th but then hung a breaking ball to J.D. Martinez and he knocked in the free runner to tie the game. Duran did a good job getting out of the rest of the frame, sending the game into the 11th.

Both teams went quietly in the 11th, and the Twins did the same in the top of the 12th. Castro tried to lay down a second consecutive successful bunt but instead popped out to catcher Will Smith in foul territory. Vazquez flew out, Solano walked, and Kirilloff flew out at that was the inning.

In the bottom of the 12th, Jorge Lopez nearly turned in a second impressive relief inning but simply ran out of margin for error. After getting Betts to pop out, the Twins elected to walk Freddie Freeman intentionally, bringing Will Smith to the plate. Lopez got Smith to strike out on a weird, defensive-looking swing as both runners took off to steal. Now, with runners on second and third with two outs, it seemed to be a no-brainer to walk the piping-hot Muncy to load the bases and face the scuffling Trayce Thompson.

Of course, the problem with such a move is that it necessitates that the pitcher throw strikes, as there is quite literally no margin for error. Unfortunately, Lopez only coaxed one swing out of Thompson and walked him on six pitches, ending the game.


  • The Twins bullpen generally pitched well, save for an at-bat or two each for Pagan and Jax, and the last at-bat of the game, of course. Now, the trick is to bounce back in another tough matchup on Tuesday night against these same Dodgers.
  • Baldelli pushed many of the right buttons in this game — Taylor pinch-running, bullpen decisions — but the Dodgers’ double-steal and forcing the intentional walk to load the basis was the winning chess-match move by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
  • It was good to see Larnach and Buxton continue to swing their bats well, although Buxton’s three-pitch strikeout in extras was the last competitive at-bat we’ve seen Buck have in a while.
  • Jorge Polanco was fantastic in this game, coming up a triple short of the cycle and stealing a base as well. He was the Twins’ entire offense until the late stages of the game.
  • While the Twins were competitive in this one and generally continued to take solid at-bats and knock the ball around the yard, it hurts to have a poor start from Lopez in a starting pitching matchup in which they should have had a clear advantage. Now, they have to turn around and take on Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night. Baily Obert will be on the hill for the Twins.


  • Jorge Polanco: 3-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 R, BB, SB
  • Trevor Larnach: 1-for-5, game-tying 3-run HR in the eighth, three balls hit over 100 MPH
  • Byron Buxton: 2-for-6, RBI, R, game-tying 2B in the ninth


  • Pablo Lopez: 4 23 IP: 5 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 0 BB