Dodgers 4, Twins 2: James Outman & Shohei Ohtani finally hit balls that Byron Buxton couldn’t reach

After dropping a series to the Cubs, the Dodgers bounced back in cold but thankfully less rainy conditions in Minnesota, taking a 4-2 game from the Twins to start that series.

It took a while, the Dodgers eventually hit enough balls over Byron Buxton‘s head to take the lead for good, all in support of James Paxton, who looked very sharp.


Giant man Bailey Ober started today for the Twins and the Dodgers got off to an ideal start … almost. Mookie Betts drew a lead-off walk, then Shohei Ohtani smoked a double over Buxton’s head in center. That was remarkable because Freddie Freeman tried to do the same as Buxton showed off his elite defense by tracking it down to make it just a sacrifice fly and just a 1-0 lead. That hurt even more when the Dodgers couldn’t manage anything else after.

Actually, Ober retired nine in a row after Ohtani’s double, which was broken by a Freeman single in the 4th. However, Will Smith lined into a double play, which meant that despite the subsequent walk and single, Ober was able to escape without damage. And he retired the side in order in the 5th as well, keeping the Dodgers quiet after their quick start.


On the other side as Paxton, who was in much more control this time out than last. After a lead-off single to old friend Manuel Margot, he got the next seven batters he faced. However, he allowed a walk before facing Margot again, which was a big mistake as Margot hammered a ball to left to give the Twins a 2-1 lead in a flash.

Paxton definitely settled in from there, getting 11 of the final 12 he faced, allowing just a single, and putting up a much better outing this time despite actually giving up runs: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 86 Pitches.

Fortunately, Paxton was actually in line for the win when he left, as the offense cobbled together a few runs for him. After just 68 pitches, Ober was done as the Twins are conservative with him, and Steven Okert didn’t have much fun in the 6th. On five pitches, he gave up an Ohtani double, a Freeman single, and a Smith single to tie the game up.

And they might’ve exited that inning with the lead, if it wasn’t for that damn Buxton again making an absolutely elite play in center on a Teoscar Hernandez fliner to prevent at least a double.

Thankfully, the Dodgers hit it over Buxton’s head in the 7th in order to get that lead, with a skied homer to right from James Outman — his first of 2024 — being followed later with Ohtani smashing his third of the year on a ball that looked like it might be a routine out. All of a sudden it was 4-2.

While they got a walk and a single in the 8th, and a single and steal in the 9th, the Dodgers were unable to get any insurance across.


Didn’t matter much.

Relieving Paxton in the 7th was Ryan Brasier, who got a clean frame with a strikeout, but also got hit by a comebacker. Fortunately, he seemed alright, and Daniel Hudson took over in the 8th and continued his great start to the year. Looking healthy already, he got a perfect frame of his own, as well as a strikeout in it.

To close things out was, of course, Evan Phillips. He made it nine up and nine down for the relievers, getting a broken bat ground out, a strikeout on three pitches, and then another routine ground out to get the save.


John Tumpane decided to troll Mookie today or something.

Not a new thing either.

Gavin Lux looks good defensively at least.


9-4, only a 112-win pace. Boooo!

Same two teams, same location, and same time tomorrow at 1:40 PM HT/4:40 PM PT/7:40 PM ET. It’ll be Tyler Glasnow against the brother of the recently-optioned Gus Varland, Louie Varland.

About Chad Moriyama

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"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times