Los Angeles at Minnesota

Los Angeles (16-12) «0320003019153
Minnesota (12-13)200020000470

Puig's four-hit day helps Dodgers beat Twins in Game 1

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- From the moment Yasiel Puig broke into the big leagues, it's been go, go, go for the 23-year-old Cuban outfielder.

Now that Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is seeing his electrifying, and sometimes maddening, player start to slow things down on the diamond, there's no telling how far his talents can take him.

Puig tied a career high with four hits and drove in two runs and Dan Haren struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings to help the Dodgers to a 9-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader on Thursday.

''His whole game seems to be calming down, base-running, defense,'' Mattingly said. ''At the plate we're seeing him be more patient. The sky is the limit for Yasiel Puig.

''If he continues down this path, then he changes everything with how you pitch him, what you can do to him, because he's going to force you to throw the ball over the plate.''

Haren (4-0) gave up four runs -- three earned -- and six hits with three walks and Juan Uribe also tied a career-high with four hits and two RBI for the Dodgers. Chris Perez pitched 1 2/3 innings for his first save.

Mike Pelfrey (0-3) gave up five runs and seven hits and walked three in four innings for the Twins. Brian Dozier had two hits and two RBI for Minnesota.

The Dodgers looked uncomfortable in the 40-degree weather in the first inning, when throwing errors by Carl Crawford in left field and catcher Miguel Olivo on the same play allowed Trevor Plouffe to score from first base on a bloop single by Jason Kubel to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

But Pelfrey, who has not won a game at Target Field since April 16, 2013, gave the lead right back when his walk to Olivo loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning. Puig's two-run double made it 3-2 and the Dodgers scored two more on a double from Matt Kemp and a single from Uribe in the third to take control.

''We've got to do something about it, we have to fix it,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Pelfrey. ''We're trying to get him on the right path.''

Puig also had singles in the first, fourth and sixth innings and walked in the eighth, the third time he's had four hits in a game. He is batting .400 (16 for 40) with three doubles and 12 RBI in his past 10 games to raise his average to .308 for the season and said he's worked with hitting coach Mark McGwire on his approach at the plate.

''He's helped me not get too anxious at the plate,'' Puig said through an interpreter. ''And it's helped me just connect with pitches that would normally give me trouble.''

The Twins seemed poised for a big inning in the fifth when Dozier's single drove in two runs and a walk to Joe Mauer gave them runners on first and second with nobody out.

Mattingly then challenged a close play at second base, when Hanley Ramirez stabbed a line drive from Plouffe and, in one motion, flipped the ball from his glove to second baseman Dee Gordon to try and double up Dozier.

Umpires ruled Dozier safe on the play, but after a two-minute replay, officials overturned the call and ruled Dozier out.

Jason Kubel grounded out in the next at-bat to end the inning and Haren escaped with a 5-4 lead.

''That fifth inning was close to falling apart,'' Haren said. ''I'd be lying if I told you I didn't catch a break there, Hanley making a good play and getting the double play. ... Besides that I felt really good. I had a good rhythm the whole game.''

Gardenhire had a challenge of his own in the eighth inning when Kubel was called out on a play at second base. Gordon dropped the throw from Ramirez on the play, and replay officials quickly overturned the play to call Kubel safe.


Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, on the disabled list since after his first start of the season with strained shoulder, threw 86 pitches and allowed two runs in five innings in a start for Double-A Chattanooga on Wednesday night and appears in line to rejoin the rotation early next week. ... Red Patterson will make his MLB debut in the nightcap for the Dodgers against Twins LHP Kris Johnson. Both were called up to start the game under a provision that allows rosters to expand to 26 for a doubleheader.

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Yasiel Puig's four hits match a career high for the 23-year-old Cuban outfielder, who drives in two runs in the win. (USATSI)
Yasiel Puig's four hits match a career high for the 23-year-old Cuban outfielder, who drives in two runs in the win. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

J. Uribe
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0

B. Dozier
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
Dee Gordon, 2B5101022 .326
Yasiel Puig, RF4042100 .308
Hanley Ramirez, SS5000006 .262
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B2210301 .320
Matt Kemp, DH5111015 .224
Andre Ethier, CF4220112 .241
Juan Uribe, 3B5242011 .327
Miguel Olivo, C3122111 .667
Carl Crawford, LF5011006 .195
Dan Haren, P0000000 .167
   J.P. Howell, P0000000 .000
   Chris Perez, P0000000 .000
2B - Yasiel Puig (5, Pelfrey), Matt Kemp (8, Pelfrey), Juan Uribe (9, Deduno)
SF - Miguel Olivo (1)
RBI - Dee Gordon (7), Yasiel Puig 2 (17), Matt Kemp (9), Juan Uribe 2 (14), Miguel Olivo 2 (2), Carl Crawford (5)
2-OUT RBI - Yasiel Puig 2 (10)
SB - Dee Gordon (14, 2nd base off Pelfrey/Suzuki), Yasiel Puig (2, 2nd base off Pelfrey/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 9
DP - H. Ramirez-Gordon
E - Carl Crawford (2, Throwing(Plouffe to 3rd and Kubel to 2nd on Crawford ET, Plouffe scores on Olivo), Miguel Olivo (1, Throwing(Plouffe to 3rd and Kubel to 2nd on Crawford ET, Plouffe scores on Olivo), Dee Gordon (3, Missed catch of throw)
Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
Dan Haren (W,4-0) 6.2643370 2.39
J.P. Howell 0.2100000 2.38
Chris Perez (S,1) 1.2000020 1.35
WP - Chris Perez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 103-67, J.P. Howell 14-10, Chris Perez 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 5-7, J.P. Howell 3-0
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 28, J.P. Howell 4, Chris Perez 5
Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B5022000 .225
Joe Mauer, 1B3110101 .277
Trevor Plouffe, 3B3100110 .295
Jason Kubel, LF4021001 .298
Josmil Pinto, DH4000011 .232
Kurt Suzuki, C4010003 .299
Sam Fuld, RF4000033 .273
Aaron Hicks, CF2100120 .183
   a-Chris Herrmann, PH1000000 .150
Eduardo Escobar, SS4110020 .333
Mike Pelfrey, P0000000 .000
   Samuel Deduno, P0000000 .000
   Jared Burton, P0000000 .000
a-fouled out for Hicks in the 9th
2B - Eduardo Escobar (3, Haren)
RBI - Brian Dozier 2 (11), Jason Kubel (13)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Aaron Hicks 1
DP - Hicks-Mauer, Hicks-Mauer-Escobar-Mauer, Hicks-Mauer-Escobar-Mauer-Escobar-Dozier-Mauer
Minnesota Twins
Mike Pelfrey (L,0-3) 4755320 7.99
Samuel Deduno 4733240 2.89
Jared Burton 1111100 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 85-49, Samuel Deduno 62-39, Jared Burton 9-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 6-3, Samuel Deduno 4-3, Jared Burton 1-1
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 21, Samuel Deduno 20, Jared Burton 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23306
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 40
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Tom Woodring, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Chris Segal