Baker Fans 9 As Twins Beat Dodgers 1-0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Scott Baker struck out nine while pitching neatly into the eighth inning and Ben Revere had two hits to help the Minnesota Twins to a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
Baker (6-5) allowed six hits and walked one in 7 1-3 innings, dropping his ERA to 3.15 as the Twins bounced back from a 15-0 drubbing on Monday night to take two of three in the series.
Rubby De La Rosa (3-3) also was impressive, giving up just one run and six hits in seven innings for Los Angeles. After hammering out 25 hits on Monday night, the Dodgers couldn’t string anything together against Baker and two relievers.
With the tying run on base in the eighth, Glen Perkins fanned Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to end the inning and Matt Capps finished the seven-hitter to earn his 13th save.
The Dodgers left eight runners on base and their big boppers — Ethier and Kemp — combined to go 1 for 8 with five strikeouts.
Revere hit a leadoff triple in the first and scored on Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s groundout. Minnesota left the bases loaded in the second inning, and De La Rosa settled into a pitching duel with Baker after that.
The right-hander walked 15 batters in his previous four starts, but showed much better control against the free-swinging Twins. He had two walks Wednesday, including one intentional pass.
Baker was even better, so good that manager Ron Gardenhire sent him out to start the eighth with a pitch count of 108. Baker struck out Tony Gwynn Jr. before walking Casey Blake.
Gardenhire went to the lefty Perkins, who got Ethier looking for the slugger’s third strikeout. Then the red-hot Kemp chased a breaking ball low and away to end the inning.
The Dodgers just turned the halfway point on the season, playing in their 82nd game on Tuesday, and first-year manager Don Mattingly called the first half “a rocky road.” The inconsistency on the field was overshadowed by an ugly dispute between owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball that spilled into bankruptcy court this week.
MLB is accusing McCourt of siphoning off more than $100 million in club revenue to help fund a lavish lifestyle with wife and former team CEO Jamie McCourt, who is asking for half of his assets in divorce proceedings. But the Dodgers argue that Commissioner Bud Selig’s refusal to approve a broadcast rights agreement with Fox Sports is what is causing the cash flow problem.
On Tuesday, McCourt gained approval from a judge to enter into a $150 million bankruptcy financing arrangement to keep the team running.
NOTES: Twins 2B Alexi Casilla got the day off because of a stiff back and banged-up thumb on his throwing hand. … Twins RHP Kevin Slowey was scheduled to throw 50 pitches for Class-A Fort Myers on Wednesday as he continues to work his way back from an abdominal injury. … Mattingly said SS Rafael Furcal was scheduled to DH during his rehab assignment on Wednesday. He didn’t rule out Furcal returning to the Dodgers by the weekend, but said the team would wait and see how he reacts over the next few days.
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