Chris Taylor scored on a bases-loaded walk in the 12th inning, Max Muncy homered twice to move back into the major-league lead, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Minnesota Twins 9-8 on Monday night for their sixth straight win.
Trayce Thompson drew a walk on a full count with the bases loaded and two outs off Jorge López (1-1) to give Los Angeles its third walk-off victory this season.
Thompson said his approach was the same as any other at-bat, despite the increased stakes.
“I’m not looking to just take a pitch right there. If he throws a pitch right down the middle, and I am not aggressive, it’s tough to sleep at night,” Thompson said. “You have to take your two-strike approach and try to battle anything close. If it’s not there. it’s not there.”
Will Smith also went deep as the Dodgers led 6-3 thru seven innings before the game saw three ties and three lead changes in the final five innings.
Minnesota’s Trevor Larnach hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning. Jorge Polanco had three hits, including a solo shot. Christian Vázquez also had three hits for the AL Central-leading Twins, who have dropped 11 straight to the Dodgers.
Phil Bickford (1-1) picked up the win for the Dodgers, allowing one run in three innings. The right-hander allowed the first three batters he faced in the 10th inning to reach base, including a bases-loaded walk to Vázquez in the 10th. But the right-hander retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced, including four strikeouts.
“When I first went out there I didn’t have the pitches I wanted to make and found a spot to snap out of it and get in the moment. All that was in the past and I moved forward,” Bickford said.
It is the first time in four major-league seasons that Bickford has gone longer than two innings in a game, and the 48 pitches are a career high.
“I think he realized that he was the last man standing, and it was his game. He was not looking for any exits,” manager Dave Roberts said of Bickford.
Minnesota trailed 6-3 in the eighth before Larnach tied it on a 2-2 fastball from Yency Almonte to right-center.
David Peralta had an RBI in the bottom of the eighth to put the Dodgers back on top at 7-6, but the Twins answered in the ninth to knot it again and send it to extra innings. Correa drew a leadoff walk and scored on Byron Buxton’s double into the left-center gap.
Vázquez’s walk in the 10th gave Minnesota its first lead of the game at 8-7. It was short lived as J.D. Martinez had a one-out RBI base hit in the bottom of the inning.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli lamented his team not being able to add to their lead with no outs in the 10th.
“We were exactly where we want to be, and we’ve got to find ways in all those at-bats to push a run across,” he said. “He was on the ropes a little bit with his strike-throwing. We’ve got to find ways to push another run across.”
BALDELLI NOT HAPPY
Baldelli said he thought Peralta’s double in the eighth was a foul ball. However, it could not be challenged.
“It’s a big reason why we lost the game because they were awarded a double on a ball that was not close to being fair,” Baldelli said.
MUNCY BACK ON TOP
Muncy — who came into the game mired in a 2-for-28 slump after hitting a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning against Philadelphia on May 3 — has 14 homers after his fourth multi-homer game this season and the 13th of his career.
The Dodgers’ third baseman also had three hits and three RBIs.
“I’ve definitely been grinding the past couple weeks. So just to get a couple results it definitely felt good,” Muncy said.
Muncy went deep for the first time in nine games with a solo shot into the right-field stands off Twins’ starter Pablo López. The first-pitch drive came immediately after Smith’s two-run homer to center to give Los Angeles the lead.
On his next at-bat, Muncy hit a two-run shot on a changeup from López that just got over the wall in center to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 5-1.
Dodgers right-hander Noah Syndergaard went only four innings after allowing two runs and four hits with five strikeouts.
Syndergaard went only one inning in his last start on May 9 at Milwaukee after a cut on the index finger of his pitching hand opened up. He is 1-3 with a 5.94 ERA in eight starts. He signed a one-year, $13 million contract in December.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (Tommy John surgery) will throw a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. He threw a 10-pitch bullpen last week in Arizona and reached 89 miles per hour at one point. Buehler underwent surgery on Aug. 23.
Twins: RHP Bailey Ober (2-0, 1.85 ERA) is 1-0 in four previous interleague starts.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.36 ERA) pitched a perfect game through seven innings and struck out 13 the last time he faced Minnesota on April 13, 2022.