LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bailey Ober allowed a run in six innings, Kyle Farmer homered and drove in three, and the Minnesota Twins beat Los Angeles 5-1 on Tuesday night as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound three days after his mother died.
Marianne Tombaugh died on Saturday, according to Ellen Kershaw. The pitcher’s wife made the announcement that day at the grand opening of a renovated youth baseball diamond supported by her charitable foundation.
Kershaw (6-3) struck out seven in four innings but struggled with constant traffic. The southpaw allowed seven hits, one walk and one batter.
“It was just a question that I didn’t have good things. It happens once in a while for some reason,” said Kershaw, who suffered his first home loss in almost two years. “They put good sticks on me all night. I couldn’t have fast heats.
Kershaw thanked everyone who reached out. Some thought Kershaw might be on the mourners list after that departure, but said he would be able to take the mound for his next start scheduled for next week in St. Louis.
“It was humbling to see how many people reached out, and I’m grateful for that. She was a great lady,” Kershaw said.
Manager Dave Roberts sensed after round two that Kershaw was not himself. The Dodgers were hoping their ace could go at least six after running through most of their bullpen in a 12-inning victory Monday night. Kershaw, however, was at 90 pitches when he left after four.
“After the second run he was more restless and not in rhythm. You could see his frustration even with that. This restlessness is not typical of him,” Roberts said. “A bit for me, I thought he was fighting and he couldn’t get into a rhythm. In round four, the sharpness of the slider wasn’t there.
Ober (3-0) allowed one run on six hits and struck out six as Minnesota snapped an 11-game losing streak against Los Angeles.
The Twins got their first batter on board four times and converted it to runs three times.
Farmer extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI single in the first inning. The third baseman then extended the lead to four runs in the ninth with a two-run shot to left center.
Willi Castro had two hits, including an RBI single in the fourth, and stole two bases for the AL Central-leading Twins, who have won five of their last seven games.
“We played aggressively throughout the day,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We had a lot of great batting. They were finally productive. When you take Kershaw out of the game after four innings, you are doing something right.
Freddie Freeman had two hits for the Dodgers, who saw their six-game winning streak shattered. Freeman also accounted for the NL West leaders lone run in the fifth inning when Twins center fielder Michael A. Taylor was unable to play on a bloop single. It led Miguel Rojas as Los Angeles closed at 3-1.
The Twins entered the game last in the majors in stolen bases with 11, but had four against the Dodgers and catcher Austin Barnes. Buxton also had a pair of interceptions.
The last time Minnesota had at least four interceptions in a game was on June 21, 2017, against the Chicago White Sox.
Twins: RHP Jorge Alcala has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled muscle in his right forearm, retroactive to Monday. RHP José De León was called up from Triple-A St. Paul.
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts says RHP Noah Syndergaard will make his next start as scheduled after his right index finger held up well in his four innings Monday night. … RHP Walker Buehler (Tommy John Surgery) had a bullpen session before the game.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.39 ERA) leads the ERA majors and is off to the best start of his 11-year big league career.
Dodgers: RHP Dustin May (4-1, 2.68 ERA) has gone at least five innings in all seven starts this season.
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