MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shohei Ohtani had two doubles and a home run — his third in five games — to power the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Monday night.

James Outman hit the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning and Freddie Freeman and Will Smith drove in runs to fuel another smooth victory for Dodgers newcomer James Paxton (2-0).

Manny Margot hit a two-run homer off his former team to give the Twins a third-inning lead, but the loaded Dodgers lineup was too much for a depleted bullpen after starter Bailey Ober deftly worked to depart with one run allowed in five innings.

Ohtani doubled off the first pitch of the sixth from Steven Okert and scored the tying run on a first-pitch single by Smith. Byron Buxton, who ran down Freeman’s sacrifice fly at the wall to hold the Dodgers to one run in the first inning, made a leaping catch of a sinking line drive by Teoscar Hernández to limit the damage for Okert.

But Outman skied a full-count slider from Jay Jackson (0-1) over the 23-foot wall in right field to begin the pivotal seventh. Then Ohtani took a two-out, 2-1 slider for a ride into the left field bleachers for his third homer in five games.

Ohtani, who revealed in an afternoon interview session he’s been using a cricket-style bat with a paddle-like barrel for mechanical work before and during games, had a relatively quiet start to his Dodgers career after signing a record $700 million contract and losing his trusted interpreter in an alleged gambling scandal that remains under investigation.

The two-time MVP and two-continent superstar has clearly found his swing — even while recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery that will keep him from pitching this season. Ohtani is 11 for 22 in his last five games with eight extra-base hits and five RBIs.

The Twins placed right-hander Daniel Duarte on the 15-day injured list prior to the game with a triceps strain, their eighth pitcher on the IL. Five them were being counted on for relief roles, including closer Jhoan Duran, who’s out with a strained oblique.


Dodgers RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-0, 3.18 ERA) starts on Tuesday night, as RHP Louie Varland (0-1, 6.75 ERA) takes the mound for the Twins in the middle game of the series. Varland missed the opportunity to take the same field with his brother when the Dodgers sent RHP Gus Varland down to Triple-A before the game. The Varlands grew up a few miles away in North St. Paul.


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