Outman’s grand-slam propels Dodgers to series win over Twins

The Dodgers ended their homestand with a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. The Dodgers won their sixth straight series and improved to 15-3 over that span.

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers played getaway-day baseball on Wednesday afternoon, ending their homestand with a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. With the win, the Dodgers won their sixth straight series and improved their record to 15-3 over that span. Despite the recent success and a comeback victory, it is hard to walk away from Wednesday’s game feeling good about things, as the Dodgers will be without one of their top starting pitchers for the time being.

Here are three takeaways from the win:

May exits early

Dustin May left the game following a scoreless 16-pitch first inning. May struck out two hitters, but his velocity was down from the usual 97-98 miles per hour that fans are used to seeing on his sinker. Following the game, Dodger manager Dave Roberts confirmed that May will be placed on the injured list with a flexor pronator strain. It was originally diagnosed as right elbow pain. A lengthy stint on the IL would be a massive blow to both May and the Dodgers. May, two years removed from Tommy John surgery, has quietly been one of the NL’s best pitchers to this point. May is 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA and a WHIP below 1.000. For a guy who has battled injuries seemingly since being called up with the Dodgers, it seemed like he was finally healthy and putting it all together. “Elbow pain” is never something you want to hear when it comes to pitchers, but the severity of the injury is unknown. With the right-hander headed to the IL, expect Gavin Stone to get another shot at the big leagues.

Slumping Thompson

Trayce Thompson’s days on the major league roster may be numbered. Thompson had a bit of a career resurgence last season with the Dodgers, smashing right handed pitchers after being acquired for a second stint with LA. This season, he looks like a completely different hitter. Currently, Trayce is in the midst of an 0-31 stretch at the plate and has seen his average drop to .117 with an OPS of .591. When you are in these kinds of slumps, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Out of 50 balls put in play in today’s game, Thompson’s eighth inning lineout was the second hardest hit ball of the day with an exit velocity of 108.3 MPH and had a .760 expected batting average (xBA). Only Joey Gallo’s home run was hit harder at 108.6 MPH. At this point, something needs to change for Thompson. It is only becoming harder for Roberts to justify giving him at-bats. The lack of right handed bench depth on the roster has given him the opportunity to work through the kinks at the major league level, but the clock is ticking.

Outman does it again

How good is James Outman? The rookie delivered another big homer, his second career grand-slam to give the Dodgers a 7-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. It is laughable to think that until the last week of Spring Training, there were questions about whether or not he was going to make the big league roster. Forty-four games into the regular season, Outman has smacked nine home runs, ranks 13th in all of baseball in slugging percentage (.549), 20th in OPS (.903) ahead of sluggers including Vlad Jr., Matt Olson, Juan Soto, and fellow Dodger Freddie Freeman. Dodger fans got a glimpse of Outman’s ability in his brief, yet incredibly memorable, stint at the big league level in 2022, and is only doing more of the same in a regular role in 2023. He is currently the odds-on favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award (+180).

The Dodgers now head to St. Louis and begin a four-game series, part of a ten-game road trip, with the Cardinals on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:45 PST.