Twins fall to Dodgers, slip into first place tie with Cleveland
LOS ANGELES — When the Twins and Dodgers last tangled on April 13 at Target Field, Clayton Kershaw almost threw a perfect game — and he might have accomplished the rare feat if only Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had left him in.
Tuesday’s date with Major League Baseball’s best went a little better than that, but that’s not much consolation for the Twins, who lost 10-3 in the series opener at Dodger Stadium.
The loss drops the Twins into a tie for first place in the American League Central with the Cleveland Guardians, who have pulled even in the division for the first time since June 24.
“I will put stock into what the standings look like on the last day of the season,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “ … When you’re doing your job and you’re doing it well, you generally don’t look at the standings. You generally don’t worry about other teams. You just worry about carrying on what you’re doing. That’s what we’ve got to find right now.”
But on Tuesday, with some sloppy defense — the Twins (57-52) committed two errors — and a rough start from Joe Ryan, after which he said he felt his execution was not what he was looking for, the Twins were not at their best.
Ryan gave up at least a run — and three in the second — in each of the first four innings, putting the Twins in a hole early. The Dodgers (76-33) hit the rookie pitcher hard, collecting six hits with an exit velocity above 100 mph.
“I think (I was) just missing with some pitches and not getting the action, I guess, or location that I was looking for early on with some of the secondary stuff that I wanted to,” Ryan said.
Ryan threw five innings, giving up six runs (five earned) in his effort.
Every Dodger hitter collected at least one hit, showing off the balanced attack that makes them one of the league’s top-top hitting teams. They finished the day with eight doubles.
The Twins, meanwhile, could do little against Dodgers starter Julio Urías, who allowed one run on a soft Gilberto Celestino single in the third inning and struck out eight in seven innings. Byron Buxton’s 27th home run, which came in the eighth inning, brought home the Twins’ other two runs.
“We’re going to play some good teams from here on out,” Baldelli said. “We have some games on the schedule coming up where there’s not going to be any just showing up, play a pretty good game and win. No. You’re going to have to play an excellent game and you’re going to have to play well-rounded baseball to beat these kinds of teams. Today, we didn’t do it.”
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