Twins loss is record-breaking ugly

Making the team payroll might prove to be a challenge for the Dodgers, but solving Twins pitching was anything but difficult.

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The Twins’ Tsuyoshi Nishioka had a difference of opinion with umpire Eric Cooper after being forced out a second base by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Juan Uribe in the third inning at Target Field.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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The Dodgers on Monday were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

But there was nothing the Twins could file to protect themselves from the Dodgers offense.

"We got murdered,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

"That was as ugly as it could be,'' righthander Nick Blackburn added.

The Twins were pulverized 15-0 by the courtroom-bound Dodgers for their worst loss of the season. Twins pitchers were knocked around for 25 hits, breaking the club record of 24 set June 11, 1996, against Seattle. It was their worst shutout loss since California beat them 17-0 on April 23, 1980.

For the first time in Dodgers history -- Los Angeles, not Brooklyn -- every player in the starting lineup had at least one hit, one run and one RBI.

"Really?'' Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake said. "History."

The 25th hit didn't appear until about 11:05 p.m., when official scorer Stew Thornley changed an error on Twins shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a hit.

That's how devastating the Dodgers offense was Monday. They kept collecting hits long after the game was over.

Los Angeles scored runs in seven of the nine innings -- and had a runner on in the two innings in which they didn't score.

Tony Gwynn, Jr., Matt Kemp and Trent Oeltjen -- the Dodgers starting outfield -- each had four hits.

Matt Capps was the only one of the five Twins pitchers who didn't give up a run. Blackburn entered the game with a 3.15 ERA but exited with it at 3.64 after giving up seven earned runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Blackburn retired the first batter of the fifth. The next four hit their way on. Blackburn was knocked out of the game during that run.

Los Angeles hitters were aggressive, with 16 of the 26 batters Blackburn faced swinging at the first or second pitches in each at-bat.

"It wasn't like they were hitting the same pitches,'' Blackburn said. "They were hitting changeups. They were hitting curveballs, sliders, everything. So just one of those nights I was up [in the strike zone] and unfortunately it happens.''

Once he was out, the game went from awful to disgusting, as many among the announced crowd of 39,487 booed during the middle innings and/or left the park.

Righthander Anthony Swarzak gave up two runs over 1 2/3 innings.

Phil Dumatrait gave up home runs to Blake and Kemp in the seventh. Jose Mijares gave up three runs in the eighth on three hits and two walks.

"It's frustrating,'' Blackburn said. "We all have been throwing pretty well lately and for that to happen ... it's just one of those games.''

Worst of all for the Twins, it was their sixth consecutive loss -- the third time this season they have lost at least six in a row. They crawled home after a 1-5 road trip to San Francisco and Milwaukee hoping that Target Field would cure what ailed them.

Instead, they ended up on the wrong end of club history -- and committed two errors.

"Regardless of how you look at it,'' Blackburn said. "We're going to have to come back tomorrow and start over again.''

  • L.A. DODGERS 15, TWINS 0

    Up next: 7:10 tonight vs. L.A. Dodgers • Target Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

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