Dodgers-Twins Preview

BY foxsports • May 1, 2014

The Los Angeles Dodgers appear poised to carry over some rare interleague road success after enjoying some late last season.

The Dodgers can set a club record with seven consecutive road victories over an AL opponent by sweeping Thursday's day-night doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins, who are mired in a five-game interleague skid.

Los Angeles (15-12) is 54-87 away from home during interleague action and dropped 10 of 12 such road games before winning their final four last season.

Following Wednesday's 6-4 win at Minnesota (12-12), the Dodgers have averaged 8.8 runs and 13.8 hits during a five-game interleague road winning steak that's one shy of the team mark set in 2003 when they swept consecutive three-game sets at Detroit and Cleveland.

After braving blustery conditions to record the franchise's 10,000th victory Wednesday, the Dodgers expect to endure similar weather for a doubleheader deemed necessary after Tuesday's opener was postponed.

"Mother Nature is winning right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website.

Adrian Gonzalez was one of four Dodgers with two hits, while Zack Greinke allowed a run over six innings to help Los Angeles improve to 2-5 at Minnesota.

"It was a good game for us, a little bit of weather," manager Don Mattingly said. "You didn't hear any complaining. Guys were ready to play."

Gonzalez is batting .400 (14 for 35) with 13 RBIs in his last eight road games, and .378 with eight RBIs in 10 all-time at Minnesota.

Game 1 starter Dan Haren (3-0, 2.03 ERA) allowed three runs - one earned - over six innings of Los Angeles' 7-3 loss to Philadelphia last Thursday.

The right-hander is 3-3 with a 5.36 ERA in eight starts at Minnesota, but has not pitched there since May 8, 2012, when he allowed five runs in 3 2-3 innings of a 5-0 loss with the Los Angeles Angels.

He'll be opposed by Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 7.32), who is 0-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 10 starts since winning at Detroit on Aug. 20 - one of his two victories in his last 27 starts.

The right-hander has allowed 11 runs, 13 hits and walked nine while striking out four to go 0-1 in two home starts this season. His most recent outing came on the road last Wednesday, when he gave up four runs in five innings of a 6-4 win at Tampa Bay.

"I thought it was better, but it's obviously nowhere close to where I want to be," Pelfrey said.

He's 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers, but has not faced them since 2011 while with the New York Mets.

Each club will look to their minor-league systems for starters to fill the designated 26th-man roster spot for the nightcap.

Kris Johnson makes his Minnesota debut and second career start after going 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in four games for Pittsburgh last season. The left-hander is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Rochester.

"He was throwing very well," Gardenhire said. "He was the recommended guy. He also threw the ball well for us spring training. So we'll see how it goes."

The Dodgers are expected to call up Red Patterson from Triple-A Albuquerque to make his major league debut in the second game. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts for the Isotopes this season.

Los Angeles' Matt Kemp is 6 for 11 versus Pelfrey.

Minnesota star Joe Mauer is batting .588 (20 for 34) against the Dodgers, and .385 (10 for 26) with a homer and two doubles versus Haren.