#Dodgers outlast Twins with bases-loaded walk in 12th for 6th straight win – Press Enterprise  #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

#Dodgers outlast Twins with bases-loaded walk in 12th for 6th straight win – Press Enterprise #Usa #Miami #Nyc #Houston #Uk #Es

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LOS ANGELES — If at first you don’t succeed – put a runner on second base and keep trying.

The Dodgers blew leads in the eighth and ninth innings Monday night, fell behind in the 10th, tied it in the bottom of the 10th and finally won it in the 12th on a walk-off walk by Trayce Thompson. The 9-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins extended the Dodgers’ winning streak to six games.

It is one of baseball’s many – many – clichés that to win 14 out of 16 games as the Dodgers now have it takes different heroes to step forward. Enter Thompson and Phil Bickford.

Thompson still doesn’t have a hit since April 17, going 0 for 30 since then. And he was picked off of first base after entering the game in the 10th as a pinch-runner. But he worked a two-out, full-count walk with the bases loaded in the 12th against Twins reliever Jorge Lopez to force in the winning run.

“I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit,” Thompson said, offering up another baseball cliché. “That’s really about it, honestly. You can get in your own head in those situations in a big moment and the game is on the line late. But just try to get a good pitch to hit.”

The temptation to expand the strike zone and try to make the 0-for-30 disappear with one swing was certainly there, Thompson said.

“It’s tough, especially for me. I’m tough on myself. I expect a lot from myself,” he said. “It’s hard. … It’s a lot easier said than done, for sure.”

The bullpen had been solid during the winning streak. But a run-scoring wild pitch by Caleb Ferguson in the seventh inning snapped a 15-inning scoreless streak by Dodgers relievers and they allowed six runs in a four-inning span, making an early 5-1 lead disappear.

But Bickford stepped up and put an end to that, stepping up with a career-high three innings and 48 pitches, stranding seven baserunners in that time while putting up scoreless innings in the 11th and 12th.

Only two relievers (Brusdar Graterol and Victor Gonzalez) remained in the bullpen after Bickford entered the game but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said both were unavailable based on recent usage and Bickford was “the last man standing.”

“As good of an outing from him as you’ll ever see,” Roberts said. “He left it all out there and we needed every bit of it.”

While the Dodgers were surging with 13 wins in their 15 games before Monday, Max Muncy was coughing and sniffling his way through a 6-for-49 slump with just one home run. A bad cold that really took hold during the Dodgers’ series in San Diego left him at less than full strength.

He took two healthy cuts Monday against right-hander Pablo Lopez, driving in three runs with two home runs as the Dodgers bolted to that early lead.

“I’ve definitely been grinding and the guys in here know it,” said Muncy, who had not homered since his walk-off grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 3. “It’s just one of those things where I feel like I’ve been putting together really good at-bats over the past two weeks but there’s just no energy there. There’s nothing in the swing. Your body is fighting an illness. You’re trying to do everything you can do to help the team win. To get some results tonight felt really good.”

Add in a two-run home run by Will Smith and Noah Syndergaard had an early cushion. He wasn’t around long to enjoy it.

Starting for the first time since a bloody blister limited him to one inning in Milwaukee last week and only the second time in two weeks after being skipped in the rotation, Syndergaard only went four innings and 59 pitches. Roberts said the blister was not the reason he pulled him.

“For me just to try not to push too much and also layer in the fact that he only threw 20 pitches in two weeks,” he said. “I thought the stuff started to curtail. It wasn’t as sharp. There was a lot of hard outs late.

“So assuming we’re gonna play nine innings I felt really good with where we were at.”

That assumption disappeared along with a Yency Almonte fastball in the eighth inning. Trevor Larnach’s three-run home run left the bat at 112 mph and tied the score when it landed in the right field pavilion.

Miguel Vargas and David Peralta untied it with back-to-back two-out doubles in the bottom of the eighth. But the Twins matched that in the ninth against Evan Phillips.

In the 10th, Bickford entered the game and the Twins built their first lead of the game without leaving the comfort of the infield. Kyle Farmer walked to put two runners on. Willi Castro laid down a bunt that Bickford fielded. But he hesitated, looking to third base before throwing late to first base.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Bickford walked the No. 9 hitter, catcher Christian Vazquez, to push across the go-ahead run.

“Obviously you don’t want that to happen to yourself or anybody on the mound,” Bickford said of the rough start to his outing. “It was in the past, though. Just did my best to snap out of it and be in the moment and make the next pitch.”

Those next pitches got better. He struck out Donovan Solano and Alex Kiriloff then got Michael A. Taylor to fly out.

Smoke-throwing Twins reliever Jhoan Duran averaged 102.1 mph on his fastball over two innings but gifted J.D. Martinez a curveball that he dropped in center field to drive in the free runner from second and tie the score again in the bottom of the 10th.

Bickford stranded two more runners in the 11th and again in the 12th, setting the stage for Thompson’s heroics.

Twins reliever Jorge Lopez intentionally walked Freddie Freeman with one out then struck out Smith as Chris Taylor and Freeman pulled off a double steal. With first base open, the Twins naturally walked Muncy to face Thompson.

“Doing the double steal, it makes sense to walk Max right there. But what you do is you leave yourself open for a base on balls,” Roberts said. “And for Trayce to take that 3-and-2 pitch and not just swing the bat to try to make something happen like that is really tough to do.”

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