Byron Buxton ends Twins' clutch hitting skid at 0-for-33 in win over Dodgers

Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins hits an RBI single against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning at Target Field on April 10, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by David Berding/Getty Images))

It had to end at some point, and it finally did for the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Target Field.

The Twins entered the day 0-for-27 with runners in scoring position. After six at-bats without success in that spot, the skid finally came to an end in the third inning. Byron Buxton singled to left, scoring Edouard Julien to give the Twins a 2-1 lead at the time. That ended an 0-for-33 stretch with runners in scoring position. Buxton is now hitting .400 (4-for-10) in that department this season.

"Being in an important spot and we need to score some runs somehow, and we’ve hit a few home runs now. But being able to string together some at-bats and someone coming through is good," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "You can call it a relief if you want, but it’s just a moment that settles the group down in a lot of ways."

Buxton said he was not aware of the skid before his RBI.

"Not one bit, it’s part of the game. A lot of people see the things that happen, but how many lineouts have we had over the past week? How many things just didn’t go our way? Just gotta keep chipping away and stay resilient," Buxton said.

The Twins’ bats have had a largely slow start to the season, with just 26 runs scored in nine games. Seven of the eight Twins’ home runs this season have been of the solo variety. But when you continue to not produce with runners in scoring position, tensions get high, frustrations mount and approaches change.

Hitting is generally contagious, so we’ll see if Buxton’s run-scoring hit rubs off on the rest of the team.

It did, at least for Edouard Julien. He had three hits, including a pair of solo opposite field homers, and scored three runs as the Twins closed out their first home stand of the season with a 3-2 win over the Dodgers for their first win at Target Field this season. Julien’s three home runs on the season also lead the Twins.

"It’s good. I kind of needed that game right? After the start to the season I had, but it feels good to be back on the right track and get the win for the guys," Julien said.

Carlos Correa had two hits, and a pivotal play in the win. Shohei Ohtani tried to score from first on a Freddie Freeman triple in the seventh. Correa took the relay and threw Ohtani out at home plate to end the inning. He was ruled safe on the field, but a challenge and video review showed Christian Vazquez got the tag on Ohtani before his foot touched home plate for what would’ve been the game-tying run.

"You anticipate Carlos making the play, and most of those plays are not made in our game. You need big plays like that, you need to come through in those spots. We had to make a big play, it defines the game," Baldelli said.

"Pretty awesome, saved the game right there. Just being able to make a play like that, it’s special. He got a hose," Buxton said.

The Twins (4-6) now hit the road for four games at Detroit, and three at Baltimore.