Twins Daily: Ben Revere's triple, Scott Baker's 9 Ks drive another 'W'
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Baker struck out nine in 7 1/3 innings, Ben Revere's leadoff triple in the first led to the game's only run and the bullpen delivered again as the Twins beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon, giving them two straight wins after a six-game losing skid.
Baker struck out the side in order in the top of the first. Then, Revere hit Rubby De La Rosa's third pitch off the wall in right field for his first major-league triple and scored on Tsuyoshi Nishioka's groundout, giving the Twins their second 1-0 lead in as many days.
This time, they never let it go.
The Dodgers threatened in the second and third innings with runners in scoring position. But Baker escaped trouble both times, forcing catcher Dioner Navarro to fly out and striking out right fielder Andre Ethier, respectively.
The Twins had a chance to add to their lead in the bottom of the eighth inning as both Mauer and Cuddyer were walked to start the inning but back-to-back strikeouts from Jim Thome and Danny Valencia and a fly out from Luke Hughes ended their chance.
Capps forced a pair of outfield fly outs to start the ninth and then after a Trent Oeltjen single, got Navarro to ground out to Nishioka for the final out.
Baker pitched at least six innings for the sixth consecutive game and went over the 100-strikeout milestone for his fifth consecutive season, upping his season total to 101.
"I just think I'm making good two-strike pitches right now and I've been able to finish some hitters," Baker said. "So, if I'm able to do that, I feel pretty good about it."
The top of the Dodgers lineup had fits with Baker all day. Their top four hitters went a combined 1-for-14 and struck out eight times. That included 1-for-8 with five strikeouts for Ethier and Kemp.
"It definitely gets you going a little bit when those guys come up," Baker said. "They're very good hitters obviously, two of the best guys in their lineup, and it just comes down to executing pitches."
With two outs and no one on in the top of the sixth inning, Kemp crushed a 1-2 sinker from Baker deep to center field with Revere giving chase.
The ball hit the heel of Revere's glove, then squirted out before he hits the wall and was ruled a double.
"They say it kind of hit me in my palm," Revere said. "It kind of went my glove and popped out. I was so mad, because we should have got out of the inning. Now, (Baker) has to throw some more pitches."
With first baseman James Loney at the plate, Kemp got a good jump on Baker and stole third without a throw from Mauer.
Loney fouled two balls off to stay alive after going down 0-2. But with the count at 1-2, Baker got Loney to ground out to second base for the final out of the inning.
6-9: The Twins' record in interleague play.
119: Season-high pitches thrown by Baker, who gave up six hits and walked one.
100: Innings and strikeouts Baker has surpassed in five consecutive seasons, after Wednesday's game gave him 105 2/3 innings and 101 strikeouts this season.
6: Stolen bases in 24 hours for Revere and LF Jason Repko, who stole a base apiece on Wednesday and after each swiping two in Tuesday night's game. Revere now has nine on the season -- second only to Alexi Casilla's 12 -- and Repko has six.
11: Home runs entering Wednesday at Triple-A Rochester for Trevor Plouffe, who was hitting .303/.374/.627 with nine doubles, two triples, 26 RBIs and 25 runs scored. "He's swinging really good right now," Gardenhire said of Plouffe, who also hit three homers in 18 games with the Twins but struggled in the field. "He's been knocking the fire out of the ball. He's playing everywhere. He's played second, third, short, left, right I believe. He's been doing just fine. He's swinging good."
53: Games it took Revere to hit his first major-league triple. The fleet-footed lead-off man hit 29 triples in 380 games over five years in the minors.
• Casilla was scratched from Wednesday's lineup because of a sore back and thumb. Gardenhire said Casilla would have been available if needed off the bench, though, and he should return to the lineup on Friday.
• OF Delmon Young (right ankle sprain) "continues to do really good," head athletic trainer Rick McWane said, and is expected to begin taking outdoor batting practice and fly balls on Friday. If all goes well, he'll go to Rochester for a rehab assignment beginning Monday. Young isn't eligible to come off the disabled list until July 11, the day before the All-Star Game, so he won't return to the Twins lineup until after the break.
• OF Denard Span (whiplash/concussion) also is doing well, McWane said, and the team is hopeful he could take batting practice outdoors for the first time this weekend.
• OF Jason Kubel (foot sprain) had no problem batting as a designated hitter or running the bases in his rehabilitation debut with the Single-A Fort Myers Miracle on Tuesday, McWane said. Kubel was scheduled to start in right field and get about four at-bats on Wednesday.
• RHP Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) was scheduled to throw 50 pitches in the same game with the Miracle. If all goes well, he would make his next start for Rochester on Monday.
• 1B Justin Morneau's neck surgery was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
"It was more of a controlled fall."
-- Capps, who reported no ill effects of his "dive" in Tuesday's win
The Twins are off on Thursday before beginning a three-game home series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
• Friday: vs. Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (4-7, 4.98) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (9-4, 3.92).
• Saturday: vs. Milwaukee, 6:10 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (5-6, 4.24) vs. LHP Chris Narveson (5-5, 4.42).
• Sunday: vs. Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (6-6, 3.64) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (7-2, 4.77).
Tom Pelissero contributed.