The surging Los Angeles Dodgers will give new outfielder Joey Gallo every chance to prove himself, with another game in the starting lineup Wednesday night against the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Gallo, somewhat of a surprise acquisition at last week's trade deadline from the New York Yankees, hada double Tuesday against the Twins, his first extra-base hit in five games with Los Angeles.
Gallo has basically replaced Jake Lamb, who was dealt to the Seattle Mariners at the deadline, but has cut into the playing time of productive and defensive-minded outfielder Trayce Thompson.
Since coming to the Dodgers in a June 20 trade with the Detroit Tigers, the right-handed-hitting Thompson has been far better against right-handed pitching, but the left-handed-hitting Gallo will get those opportunities now. Thompson doubled as a pinch hitter Tuesday.
"We're really trying to embrace (Gallo's) new beginning, a new opportunity," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Gallo, who struggled in his one year with the Yankees. "The thing I am proud of for him is going through all that stuff to then getting to the other side of it and keep competing. We're going to continue to support him mechanically, emotionally, so he can perform at his best for us."
Gallo scored a run, but struck out twice, as the Dodgers extended their winning streak to a season-best nine games Tuesday with a 10-3 victory over the Twins. Max Muncy hit a home run, and Trea Turner drove in three runs.
After left-hander Julio Urias was effective, the Dodgers will try for the brief two-game series sweep by calling up right-hander Ryan Pepiot (1-0, 2.76 ERA) to pitch Wednesday. The rookie has not faced the Twins in four career starts.
Tasked with slowing a red-hot Dodgers offense will be Twins right-hander Sonny Gray (6-3, 3.19). In his most recent outing Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays, he was left with a no-decision despite five scoreless innings. It was his third start of at least five scoreless innings this season.
Gray is 1-3 in four lifetime starts against the Dodgers with a 2.70 ERA, earning that lone victory in a complete-game shutout as a member of the Oakland Athletics in 2015.
Tuesday's defeat dropped the Twins into a tie for first place in the American League Central with the Cleveland Guardians, the first time Minnesota has not held sole possession of the division's top spot since June 24.
"I will put stock into what the standings look like on the last day of the season; that's when I'm going to do it," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of his club, which is 5-8 since July 26. "I'm not surprised that (the Dodgers) are playing well. They're a really good club. We know that. We see them all the time. We know what they're all about. They're playing good.
"We have to find the groove again. We need to find the feeling where we're putting complete games together again, and a few in a row."
Minnesota's Byron Buxton hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning Tuesday, his 27th homer of the season, but otherwise, Baldelli was ready to forget the contest and move on.
"When we show up (Wednesday), we know we're going to have to come with a lot more of everything, better execution, and we have to play better," Baldelli said.
--Field Level Media