LOS ANGELES — Bailey Ober allowed one run in six innings, Kyle Farmer homered and drove in three runs, and the Minnesota Twins beat Los Angeles 5-1 on Tuesday night as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound three days after the death of his mother.
Marianne Tombaugh died Saturday, according to Ellen Kershaw. The pitcher’s wife made the announcement that day during the dedication of a refurbished youth baseball field supported by his charity foundation.
Kershaw (6-3) struck out seven in four innings, but faced constant traffic. The left-hander allowed seven hits, one walk and hit a batter.
“It was just a matter that I didn’t have good stuff. That happens from time to time for whatever reason,” said Kershaw, who suffered his first loss at home since in nearly two years. “They put good at-bats on me the whole night. I wasn’t able to have any quick innings.”
Kershaw thanked everyone who reached out. There was some thought that Kershaw might go on the bereavement list after this start, but said he would be able to take the mound for his next scheduled start next week in St. Louis.
“It’s been humbling to see how many people have reached out, and I’m thankful for that. She was a great lady," Kershaw said.
Manager Dave Roberts sensed after the second inning that Kershaw wasn't himself. The Dodgers were hoping their ace could go at least six after they went through most of their bullpen in a 12-inning win Monday night. Kershaw though was at 90 pitches when he left after four.
“After the second inning he was more agitated and not in rhythm. You could see his frustration even with that. That agitation isn’t kind of typical for him,” Roberts said. “A little bit for me I thought he was fighting himself and couldn’t get into a rhythm. In the fourth inning, the sharpness of the slider wasn’t there.”
Ober (3-0) allowed one run on six hits and struck out six as Minnesota snapped an 11-game losing streak to Los Angeles.
The Twins got their leadoff batter aboard four times and converted that into runs three times.
Farmer extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI single in the first inning. The third baseman then extended the lead to four runs in the ninth with a two-run shot to left-center.
Willi Castro had two hits, including an RBI single in the fourth, and had two stolen bases for the AL Central-leading Twins, who have won five of their last seven games.
“We played aggressively all the way around today,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We had a lot of excellent at-bats. They were ultimately productive. When you get Kershaw out of the game after four innings, you are doing something right.”
Freddie Freeman had two hits for the Dodgers, who had their six-game winning streak snapped. Freeman also accounted for the NL West leaders' only run in the fifth inning when Twins center fielder Michael A. Taylor was unable to make a play on a bloop single. That drove in Miguel Rojas as Los Angeles closed within 3-1.
The Twins came into the game last in the majors in stolen bases with 11, but had four against the Dodgers and catcher Austin Barnes. Buxton also had a pair of steals.
The last time Minnesota had at least four steals in a game was June 21, 2017, against the Chicago White Sox.
Twins: RHP Jorge Alcala was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm extensor muscle strain, retroactive to Monday. RHP José De León was called up from Triple-A St. Paul.
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts said RHP Noah Syndergaard will make his next start as scheduled after his right index finger held up well during his four innings of work Monday night. ... RHP Walker Buehler (Tommy John Surgery) had a bullpen session before the game.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.39 ERA) leads the majors in ERA and is off to the best start of his 11-year big-league career.
Dodgers: RHP Dustin May (4-1, 2.68 ERA) has gone at least five innings in all seven starts this season.
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