Twins fall to Dodgers in bruising series finale

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LOS ANGELES — One team took advantage of its bases-loaded opportunity. The other did not.

And that was the big difference between the Twins and the Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The Twins suffered a bruising 7-3 loss, a seventh-inning grand slam separating the two teams.

Things escalated quickly in the seventh after Twins reliever José De León got all-stars Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman to go down on six pitches. Two hits later spelled the end of his day. He made way for Emilio Pagán, who immediately walked the bases loaded and then walked the very next batter he faced to force in the game-tying run.

The veteran then left a fastball over the plate for rookie James Outman, who took the ball out of the park to center, riling up the Dodger Stadium crowd.

That came in stark contrast from the Twins’ opportunity an inning earlier during which they loaded the bases and, as they have so many times this season, came away with nothing. The Twins are a confounding 5 for 40 (.125) with the bases loaded, a mark that is the worst in Major League Baseball.

The loss came on a day when Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray was far from his sharpest. His start began with a pitch clock violation, putting him down a ball before he threw his first pitch of the day.

He got through a laborious first inning, throwing 26 pitches and loading the bases but coming through unscathed. Other than for a 1-2-3 second inning, Gray worked with heavy traffic all day, giving up a run in both the third and fourth innings. Gray’s day ended after throwing 84 pitches in four innings.

Briefly

Utilityman Nick Gordon left the game in the fifth inning after fouling a ball off his leg. The Twins have said he suffered a right shin contusion. Joey Gallo later exited the game for the same reason. Second baseman Jorge Polanco was also removed from the game. The Twins have not yet provided an update on him.

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