Who knew the Dodgers could play for Bud Grant? All this time, and it turns out they’re a cold-weather team.
The Dodgers completed their three-game sweep of the Twins in Minneapolis on Thursday, taking the second game of a day-night doubleheader, 4-3, on solo home runs by Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera in the 12th inning.
Van Slyke also tripled in the game, missing a home run by inches, but it was his blast to lead off the 12th that finally led to the end of the Dodgers’ latest five-hour-plus game.
The Dodgers won Thursday’s first game, 9-4, but everything about the second game proved difficult, and that’s not even considering the 46-degree weather.
The Dodgers went two for 13 with runners in scoring position and could not cash in on one of the 12 walks the Twins issued.
By the time the game finally ended, the Dodgers may have forgotten a nice debut outing by Red Patterson. They did get a strong bullpen outing from Brandon League, Paco Rodriguez, Brian Wilson and Jamey Wright (three innings) before a tired looking Kenley Jansen gave up a run in the bottom of the inning.
Jansen, struggling to hit 91 mph on the radar gun, finally got Chris Colabello to line out to Adrian Gonzalez to end it. It took Jansen 34 pitches to complete the 12th.
Wilson, who had been struggling, came on in the eighth with two on and no outs and retired the next three Twins, the final two on strikeouts.
The Dodgers are 2-5 in extra-inning games.
Patterson, a right-hander who turns 27 on May 11, was called up as an emergency starter, and after a nervous looking first inning, pitched extremely well, better than the Dodgers had reason to expect.
In the first inning, however, the first two hitters singled, he mixed in a walk, and the Twins scored one run on a sacrifice fly.
After that, Patterson looked very comfortable. He retired 11 consecutive at one point. He threw too many pitches in his 4¿ innings (87) but was charged only with the one run. He allowed only two hits, walked three and struck out one.
The Dodgers finally tied the score after Van Slyke led off the sixth with a triple off the wall. Juan Uribe lined a single to score Van Slyke.
Then the Dodgers gave the run right back, thanks to that gray cloud that continues to hang over their early season -- horrid defense. Uribe and League took turns throwing balls away to first for errors to allow Minnesota to score the go-ahead run.
But the lead did not last long, with Gonzalez lining his National League-leading ninth home run of the season to lead off the seventh against Michael Tonkin. The Dodgers then loaded the bases on three Tonkin walks, but were unable to score when Caleb Thielbar relieved and got Dee Gordon to line out to diving second baseman Brian Dozier.
The Dodgers had gone 10 for 24 with runners in scoring position in the first two games against Minnesota. This game, they left runners on base in each of the first seven innings.
Van Slyke and Butera hit their home runs in the 12th off Brian Duensing. Butera's was the first home run by a Dodgers catcher this season.