James Outman hits grand slam to propel Dodgers to 7-3 victory over Twins

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES – James Outman has struggled since being named the National League’s Rookie of the Month in April. The Dodgers outfielder though showed signs of possibly getting back to his earlier form with a big game.

The outfielder hit a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning as the Dodgers rallied for a 7-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

“It felt good to finally come through in a big spot,” Outman said. “I’m glad that we got the go-ahead run right there in that situation. The grand slam was kind of like the cherry on top.”

Byron Buxton and Joey Gallo homered for the Twins, who dropped two of the three in a matchup of division leaders.

The Dodgers trailed 3-2 in the seventh before scoring five runs all with two outs. Will Smith tied it after Emilio Pagan walked Miguel Vargas with the bases loaded and Outman put them on top when he drove a first-pitch fastball over the wall in center. It was the rookie outfielder’s ninth home run of the season and second career grand slam.

Outman had two hits in the game. He broke out of an 0-for-13 slump with a hit in the fourth inning.

Outman was batting .289 at the end of April but has had a rough May. He came into the game not only hitless in his last five games, but was 5 for 33 in his last 11.

“It was no secret I was grinding. My teammates were keeping me positive and centered,” he said.

José De León (0-1) took the loss after he allowed two-out base hits to Smith and Max Muncy in the seventh.

Brusdar Graterol (2-1) got the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings in what was largely a bullpen game for the Dodgers. Starter Dustin May left after the first inning due to right elbow pain. May had Tommy John Surgery two years ago.

Manager Dave Roberts said after the game that May had a flexor pronator strain and will be going on the injured list. He also admitted that his feelings were a little conflicted after the game.

“Still excited that we won the game and a series against a really good ballclub, but I’m also thinking about Dustin right now,” he said.

May wasn’t the only one injured as there was attrition on both teams. Minnesota center fielder Nick Gordon fractured his right shin after he a fouled a pitch off his leg in the fifth inning. Second baseman Jorge Polanco left in the seventh due to a hamstring strain and Gallo suffered a bruised shin after taking a foul ball of his leg in the ninth.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Gordon will be out at least a month. Gordon finished his at-bat, but struck out.

“There’s almost nothing that can take them out of the game, and sometimes we have to step in and take them out,” Baldelli said. “I wish Nick didn’t have to take that last swing, knowing now that his leg was fractured. Doesn’t look like it’s displaced, or he further hurt himself talking that extra swing, but I’ll bet it was painful as hell.”

Mookie Betts had two hits and factored in the Dodgers’ first two runs. He hit his first triple of the season to lead off the third and scored on Freddie Freeman‘s sacrifice fly.

After Buxton’s homer tied it, the Dodgers answered back in the fourth when Betts drove in Outman on a two-out base hit to center.

Gallo evened it in the sixth on a solo shot to center. The Twins grabbed the lead in the seventh when Willi Castro stole third base and scored on pitcher Caleb Ferguson‘s throwing error when it looked like Castro might be caught in a rundown between second and third.


Minnesota’s Sonny Gray came into the game leading the majors with a 1.39 ERA but struggled in four innings.

The right-hander faced constant traffic in his four innings of work. He allowed two runs on five hits and walked three. He also struck out four.


Dodgers: LHP Justin Bruihl was optioned to make room for Covey. … RHP Jimmy Nelson (right elbow inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.


Twins: RHP Joe Ryan (6-1, 2.16 ERA), who has recorded double-digit strikeouts in three of his eight starts, gets the call in the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels.

Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (5-3, 3.61 ERA) will make his first career start against the Cardinals on Thursday to start a four-game set at St. Louis.

Jacob deGrom, oft-injured Rangers ace, to have season-ending right elbow surgery

rangers degrom
Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers signed Jacob deGrom to a $185 million, five-year deal in free agency last winter hoping the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner could help them get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and make a push toward winning a World Series.

They also knew the risks, with the pitcher coming off two injury-plagued seasons with the New York Mets.

Even with deGrom sidelined since late April, the AL West-leading Rangers are off to the best start in franchise history – but now will be without their prized acquisition until at least next year. The team said Tuesday that deGrom will have season-ending surgery next week to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

“We’ve got a special group here and to not be able to be out there and help them win, that stinks,” deGrom said, pausing several times with tears in his eyes. “Wanting to be out there and helping the team, it’s a disappointment.”

General manager Chris Young said Tuesday the decision on surgery came after an MRI on deGrom’s ailing right elbow, but the extent of what is required might not be determined until the operation is performed next week.

Tommy John surgery, in which the damaged ligament is replaced, is often needed to fix a torn UCL, but Young and the Rangers didn’t go as far as saying the pitcher would have that particular procedure. After being drafted by the New York Mets in 2010, deGrom made six starts in the minors that summer before needing Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2011, three years before his big league debut.

DeGrom last pitched April 28 against the New York Yankees, when he exited early because of injury concerns for the second time in a span of three starts. The announcement about surgery came a day after deGrom was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Young said the latest MRI showed more inflammation and significant structural damage in the ligament that wasn’t there on the scan after deGrom left the game against the Yankees.

“The results of that MRI show that we have not made progress. And in fact, we’ve identified some damage to the ligament,” Young said. “It’s obviously a tough blow for Jacob, for certainly the Rangers. But we do feel this is what is right for Jacob in his career. We’re confident he’ll make a full recovery.”

Young and deGrom, who turns 35 later this month, said the goal is for the pitcher to return near the end of next season. Both said they were glad to have clarity on what was wrong with the elbow.

Texas won all six games started by deGrom (2-0), but the right-hander threw only 30 1/3 innings. He has a 2.67 ERA with 45 strikeouts and four walks. He threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees in his last start before leaving because of discomfort in his arm.

The Rangers went into Tuesday night’s game against St. Louis with a 39-20 record, the first time they were 19 games over .500 since the end of 2016, their last winning season.

Before going home to Florida over the weekend for the birth of his third child, deGrom threw his fifth bullpen last Wednesday in Detroit.

“I’d have days where I’d feel really good, days where I didn’t feel great. So I was kind of riding a roller coaster there for a little bit,” deGrom said. “They said originally there, we just saw some inflammation. … Getting an MRI right after you pitch, I feel like anybody would have inflammation. So, you know, I was hoping that that would get out of there and I would be fine. But it just didn’t work out that way.”

DeGrom spent his first nine big league seasons with the Mets, but was limited by injuries to 156 1/3 innings over 26 starts during his last two years in New York.

He had a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021 before missing the final three months of the season with right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow.

The four-time All-Star didn’t make his first big league start last year until Aug. 2 after being shut down late in spring training because of a stress reaction in his right scapula.

His latest injury almost surely will trigger Texas’ conditional option on deGrom’s contract for 2028.

The option takes effect if deGrom has Tommy John surgery on his right elbow from 2023-26 or has any right elbow or shoulder injury that causes him to be on the IL for any period of 130 consecutive days during any season or 186 days in a row during any service period.

The conditional option would be for $20 million, $30 million or $37 million, depending on deGrom’s performance during the contract and health following the 2027 season.

“I feel bad for Jake. If I know Jake, he’ll have the surgery and come back and finish his career strong,” second-year Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “I know how much it means to him. He enjoys pitching. It’s certainly sad news for all of us.”