LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers watched their best pitcher walk off the field in pain Sunday afternoon and then saw his name pop up on the 10-day disabled list on Monday.
Even that setback hasn’t slowed the team down.
Los Angeles will look to win its third straight when it hosts the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday in the second game of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves on a walk-off single in the 10th inning Sunday after ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw departed early in the game with a back strain that will sideline him four to six weeks. Los Angeles then defeated the Twins 6-4 on a three-run homer by Cody Bellinger in the eighth inning Monday.
“We feel for Kersh, and he’s down obviously, which makes sense, but there’s nothing we can do,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We have to get him back, which we will, and we have to try and win baseball games.”
Minnesota will turn Tuesday to right-hander Jose Berrios, who is coming off one of the best starts of his two-year career, holding the New York Yankees to one run over 6 2/3 innings in a 6-1 victory on Wednesday. That outing came after his first slump of the season, when Berrios (9-3, 3.50 ERA) won just one of his previous four starts after opening the season 7-1.
Berrios, who has yet to pitch against the Dodgers in his career, has done well in two starts against NL West opponents this season. He threw 7 2/3 shutout innings and struck out a career-high 11 in a 2-0 win against the Colorado Rockies on May 18, and he was the winning pitcher in a 3-2 victory against the San Francisco Giants on June 10, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings and striking out eight.
Twins manager Paul Molitor hopes his team will be better adjusted to playing at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
“For a lot of the guys, (Monday) was their first time in the park, and everyone knows what the Dodgers are doing this year,” Molitor said. “When the first pitch is thrown, you just try and go out and play.”
Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda (8-4, 4.23 ERA) gets the start Tuesday in place of Brandon McCarthy, who went on the 10-day DL on Monday with a blister on his throwing hand. Maeda has never faced the Twins.
Maeda will be trying to win three consecutive starts for the first time since last August, and he has pitched well against AL opponents of late. His past three wins have come against the AL: a 4-0 win against the Los Angeles Angels on June 27, a 4-1 win against the Kansas City Royals on July 7, and a 9-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox on July 19. Maeda allowed two runs in a combined 17 innings in those outings.
Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza is the only Minnesota player who has faced Maeda, and he homered in one of two at-bats against him as a member of the Giants last season.
While the Dodgers were placing two starting pitchers on the disabled list Monday, the Twins were adding to their rotation. Minnesota acquired veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia along with catcher Anthony Recker in a trade that sent pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa to the Atlanta Braves.
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