Laughing through the pain: Dodgers crush Twins, 15-0
And then they played a baseball game. A real, good baseball game. Almost like all was right in their universe.
There were no court proceedings, no legal maneuverings, no wishing the news of the day away.
The Dodgers just went out Monday and absolutely whipped the Minnesota Twins, beat them up like some other team’s owner had just filed bankruptcy.
They hit and hit some more, got their best outing from Chad Billingsley in six weeks, and then rolled to a 15-0 victory. As in, Chapter 11 plus four.
On the saddest day of their season, the Dodgers managed to play their biggest laugher.
The Dodgers collected 24 hits -- 18 singles -- and Billingsley pitched six scoreless innings. The 24 hits and 15 runs were both season highs.
Who knew bankruptcy was such an offensive motivator?
They spread it around, too. For only the second time in Los Angeles Dodgers history, every starter had at least one hit, one run and one RBI. The other time occurred in 1930. Overall, 10 Dodgers drove in a run and eight had at least two hits.
Matt Kemp had four hits, including a solo home run to the deepest part of center field that was estimated at 444 feet. Tony Gwynn Jr. and Trent Oeltjen alsohad four hits apiece, and Casey Blake added three. Kemp, Blake and Oeltjen each had two RBIs, one for each coming off a solo home run, and rookie Dee Gordon added two more. Oeltjen ended up a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
The Dodgers scored runs in seven of the first eight innings. They made it look easy. Made it look like they could do it every day.
They flew all night, crawled into their hotel late, woke up to the news that owner Frank McCourt had filed for bankruptcy and then crushed the Twins. Like it was just another day, albeit one where they’re pounding the ball.
It was their biggest blowout via a shutout since they beat San Diego, 19-0, in 1969, the Padres’ expansion year. It was Don Drysdale's final shutout.
Billingsley gave up four hits, walked two and struck out four in his six innings, raising his record to 7-6.
Relievers Blake Hawksworth, Hong-Chih Kuo and Scott Elbert added three scoreless innings, striking out seven of nine.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against Minnesota on Monday night. Credit: Craig Lassig / EPA