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Yasiel Puig has it rolling as Dodgers top Twins in opener, 9-4

SportsBaseballDan HarenYasiel PuigMinnesota TwinsJ.P. HowellMiguel Olivo
The Dodgers, led by Yasiel Puig, beat the Twins 9-4 in the first game of a doubleheader in Minnesota

Yasiel Puig got off to something of a rough start to the season, what with being tardy here and having reports of his harrowing escape from Cuba there. Mix in what was a so-so offensive start, and he wasn't exactly off to a sensational beginning to his first full season.

That might be changing now.

Puig had four hits and a walk in five plate appearances, helping lead a busy Dodgers offense to a 9-4 victory over the Twins in the first of two games scheduled Thursday at Target Field.

The second game of what is loosely being called a doubleheader — it requires two separate tickets — is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. PDT.

With Dan Haren overcoming one rough inning to raise his record to 4-0 and the offense pounding out 14 hits, the Dodgers have already assured themselves of winning the three-game series. The Dodgers are 10-3 on the road and 6-9 at home.

The offense and Haren allowed the Dodgers to overcome three more errors, pushing their major-league high to 29.

Puig was batting just .254 a week ago but has gone 10 for 20 since to raise his average to .308. In the last five games, he has seven RBIs and scored four times. He doubled and drove in two runs in Thursday’s first game.

He was hardly alone in the offensive exploits business.

Juan Uribe went four for five, driving in two and scoring twice. Uribe has seven games with three or more hits this season; no one else in baseball has more than five.

Andre Ethier went two for four with a walk, Adrian Gonzalez had one hit in two at-bats with three walks and two runs, and catcher Miguel Olivo, in his first start since being called up Wednesday, went two for three and drove in a pair.

That sparked the nine-run output, more than enough for Haren. The right-hander went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks.

Haren went deep enough into the game that the Dodgers needed to go to the bullpen only twice in the first game. J.P. Howell went two-thirds of an inning and Chris Perez got the final five outs.

 

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