Don't look now, but Scott Baker (6-5, 3.15 ERA) might be pitching his way to becoming the Twins' representative on the American League All-Star team.
The right hander struck out nine Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon, pitching into the eighth inning at Target Field and shutting down the Los Angeles lineup, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 1-0 victory in the rubber game of a three-game series.
The lone run of the ball game came in the bottom of the first inning, when Ben Revere led off the game with a triple off of Dodgers' starter Rubby De La Rosa (3-3, 4.41 ERA) and scored when Tsuyoshi Nishioka grounded out to the pitcher. That was all of the offense that either team could generate on the afternoon.
This one, however, belonged to Scott Baker. He started the game by striking out the side in the top of the first, and continued to dominate from there, scattering seven hits to the Dodgers over 7.1 innings of work and walking just one hitter. He was lifted in favor of Glen Perkins with one out in the top of the eighth, and struck out the only two Dodger hitters he faced. Matt Capps came in and pitched the ninth inning for his thirteenth save of the season.
The victory for Minnesota moved them back to 8.5 games behind the division-leading Detroit Tigers. Minnesota will have an off day on Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend set at Target Field against the Milwaukee Brewers, with first pitch on Friday night scheduled for 7:10 PM Central time. The pitching match-up for that one as it stands now will see right-hander Yovani Gallardo (9-4, 3.92 ERA) pitching for the Brewers and left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-7, 4.98 ERA) going for Minnesota.