Dodgers roll with MLB season-high 25 hits
MINNEAPOLIS — Even an hour after Monday’s game, the Dodgers kept collecting hits.
With a season-high 25 hits and 15 runs, the Dodgers broke out the bats in a big way on Monday against the Twins, cruising to a 15-0 victory at Target Field. But with the way Chad Billingsley dominated on the mound, one of each would have sufficed.
“It’s just one of those days,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. “Everything went right from the beginning and kept going tonight. A lot of times you’ll see it start and kind of stop, but it just kind of kept going tonight.”
The 25 hits were the most by any team in the Majors this season, and matched a club record for the Dodgers, who last reached the mark on May 19, 2006, against the Angels.
Tony Gwynn, one of four Dodgers with three or more hits, got things started, leading off the game with a single and scoring two batters later as Andre Ethier reached on a throwing error by shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Ethier also scored as Matt Kemp followed with a double to the gap in right.
The Dodgers added a run in the third, two in the fourth, three in the fifth, two in the sixth, two more in the seventh, and three for good measure in the eighth inning. For the first time in Los Angeles Dodgers history, every player in the lineup had at least one hit, one run and one RBI.
“Really?” Gwynn asked when told of that stat. “I told you, it was one of those games that guys swung the bat well, got into good counts. … Matt and Andre do what they always do and they had a good supporting cast today.”
After the game, a fielding error in the fourth by Nishioka was ruled a hit for Ethier, giving the Dodgers their 25th hit. It set a new club record for hits allowed by the Twins in a nine-inning game.
Kemp had four hits in five at-bats, including his National League-leading 22nd home run of the season in the seventh off lefty Phil Dumatrait, a 444-foot blast off the batter’s eye in center field. He also scored twice and drove in a pair.
“You wish you could have more days like that,” Kemp said. “Hopefully that’s the start of something good.”
Former Twins player Casey Blake also homered in the seventh, his fourth of the year, and ex-Minnesota prospect Trent Oeltjen hit his first home run of the season in the fourth. It was the fourth time this season the Dodgers had hit three home runs in a game, and the first since June 11 at Colorado.
Oeltjen also had four hits, including a triple in the eighth, finishing a double shy of the cycle. In his final at-bat, Oeltjen hit a single to right field, giving a long look at going to second before deciding against it.
“All the boys were talking to me before I went up there, ‘Hey, you know you need a double,’” Oeltjen said. “But I hit it right at him.”
Would his manager have been upset if Oeltjen took a shot at stretching it into a double with a 15-0 lead in the top of the ninth?
“Yeah, I would’ve been, because he’d have gotten thrown out by like 20 feet and it would’ve looked really bad,” Mattingly said. “It’s one of those games, you don’t really want to embarrass the other team. You feel good about it, but you’ve been on the other side.”
Billingsley kept the Twins off-balance all night, giving up just four hits in six shutout innings. The right-hander also struck out four batters while walking two in his seventh win of the season.
When the Twins did get hits in the game, the Dodgers’ defense backed up Billingsley with a few strong plays. They turned double plays in the third and the sixth, and Dee Gordon threw out Alexi Casilla at the plate on a strong relay throw after Joe Mauer doubled to left.
Even with all the offense, Gordon and Gwynn seemed most excited about their defense.
“I was pumped on that one — it’s not a lot of times you’re going to be able to get assists off those types of plays,” Gwynn said. “They only had the camera on him, but I was yelling, he was yelling … that’s the kind of stuff we worked on during spring and we’ve been pretty good at it all year.”
Twins starter Nick Blackburn got hit around for eight runs (seven earned) on 13 hits over 4 1/3 innings with one walk and one strikeout.
The Dodgers jumped all over Blackburn early in the count, with 11 of the 13 hits coming on the first or second pitch of the at-bat.
“I don’t think we really need to talk a whole lot about this one. We got murdered,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “Everything we threw up there, pretty much from the beginning, found holes and were hits. There were a lot of runs across.”
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.