Twins 1, Dodgers 0

Focused Twins blank Dodgers

Dodgers’ James Loney heads back to the dugout after striking out in the fourth. Dodgers’ James Loney heads back to the dugout after striking out in the fourth. (Genevieve Ross/Associated Press)
By Jon Krawczynski
Associated Press / June 30, 2011

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MINNEAPOLIS — In the wake of a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Minnesota Twins focused on sending the NL club back to California with a pair of losses.

Thanks to Scott Baker, they were able to achieve just that.

Baker struck out nine while pitching into the eighth inning and Ben Revere had two hits to help the Twins win the three-game series with a 1-0 victory yesterday.

Baker (6-5) gave up six hits and walked one in 7 1/3 innings, dropping his ERA to 3.15. Minnesota rebounded from Monday night’s 15-0 drubbing with a 6-4 win Tuesday, then gutted out a squeaker in the finale.

“Winning two out of three after getting blown out in the first one is a nice way to come back,’’ Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Baker sure has found a groove at home, going 3-1 with a 0.29 ERA in his last four starts at Target Field. He struck out 10 in eight scoreless innings against the Padres June 18.

“I’ve really felt good the past four or five outings and three of them happened to be at home,’’ Baker said. “I’m making good two-strike pitches right now and been able to finish some hitters. If I do that I feel pretty good about it.’’

Rubby De La Rosa (3-3) also was impressive, giving up just one run and six hits in seven innings for Los Angeles. After hammering out 25 hits Monday night, the Dodgers couldn’t string anything together against Baker and two relievers.

With the tying run on base in the eighth, Glen Perkins fanned Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to end the inning and Matt Capps finished the seven-hitter to earn his 13th save.

“We throw up a ton of runs, you know, and then you get good pitching and we don’t put up any runs,’’ Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s pretty much been the tale of our season. Really, for the most part, we haven’t been able to match up what we are doing as far as putting up runs and not giving any up.’’

The Dodgers just turned the halfway point on the season, playing in their 82d game, and Mattingly called the first half “a rocky road.’’ The inconsistency on the field was overshadowed by an ugly dispute between owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball that spilled into bankruptcy court this week.

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