LOS ANGELES -- Chris Taylor continued his torrid July with a pair of doubles and three RBIs as the Dodgers beat the Twins, 6-2, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium to become the fifth team in the expansion era to reach 70 wins by its 101st game. Los Angeles also increased its division lead over Arizona to a season-high 12 1/2 games while dropping Minnesota below .500 for the first time since late April.
"I just learned we won 70 games. I've got such narrow vision," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "It's a credit to the guys in the clubhouse. But we've got a lot of work to do."
The Dodgers are getting it done with contributors like Taylor. In 19 games this month, he is 34-for-76 (.447), and he's 23-for-44 (.523) with five doubles, three triples, two homers and nine RBIs in 11 games since the All-Star break. He has multiple hits in seven of his last eight games.
"He's an exciting player, he does a lot of things that help a championship team," Roberts said of Taylor. "We don't know what this young man's ceiling is. He keeps getting big hits, and he's making great defensive plays to save runs. He's a winning player."
Kenta Maeda (9-4), inheriting the start from the injured Brandon McCarthy (blister), was charged with two runs (one earned) in five innings that included a 35-pitch third. Roberts pointed out that Maeda dropped down two sacrifice bunts, the second one preceding Taylor's two-run double in the four-run fourth inning.
"I told him how important that was," Roberts said. "He's a baseball player. He works on his skills to benefit the ballclub. The second bunt, with runners on first and second, gave us an opportunity to drive in some runs. That was the difference in the game."
Twins starter Jose Berrios (9-4) was charged with four runs, all of which came in his fourth and final inning.
"Berrios was good early," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But they put together a nice inning with some good at-bats. I thought Taylor's double was the big hit with two outs. And they added a couple more late. Offensively, we're struggling a little bit."
The Twins struck first on Zack Granite's two-out RBI single in third inning, and a throwing error by Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager set up an unearned run that scored on Eduardo Escobar's two-out single in the fifth inning, but that was all the Twins would get, as Luis Avilan and Josh Ravin combined for a scoreless four innings out of the Dodgers' bullpen, with Ravin earning his first career save a day after he was recalled to Los Angeles.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Picking up Maeda: Until Seager's error, Maeda received stellar support from his defense. Turning hits into outs in the first five innings were third baseman Justin Turner, Seager, left fielder Taylor, center fielder Pederson and first baseman Cody Bellinger.
Lights-out Luis: After Maeda's bob-and-weave start, Avilan took over in the sixth and struck out the side in order. Avilan's last seven appearances have been scoreless, and he's allowed one hit with 10 strikeouts, one hit and one walk in 6 1/3 innings over that span.
The game was delayed for 18 minutes in the bottom of the sixth inning after Roberts pointed out an issue with the Twins' double switch that brought pitcher Ryan Pressly into the game.
"It was a miscommunication when I went out there to make the double switch," Molitor said. "What I think I said and what [home-plate umpire Lance Barrett] thought he heard are two different things. I don't exactly recall what I said, but I don't think it was what he had written down. On his card he had [Matt] Belisle marked in for Rosario [instead of Pressly for Jorge Polanco]. Somehow it wasn't clear to him what I wanted it to be, or he misunderstood me. And that's on me."
Roberts raised the issue after Pressly threw one pitch to Yasiel Puig. Pitch No. 2 wouldn't come for another 18 minutes as the umpiring crew sorted out how to handle the issue.
"I didn't know what was going on," Puig said. "I came down here [to the clubhouse] to get a cup of coffee. I really don't like to wait."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Twins successfully challenged a play in the fifth, as Brian Dozier was initially ruled out at first base on Seager's throwing error. The call was overturned after review and Dozier later scored on Escobar's two-out single.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: Right-hander Ervin Santana (11-7, 3.26 ERA) is set to start for the Twins in the series finale on Wednesday at 9:10 p.m. CT. Santana is coming off a rough start against the Tigers, allowing five runs in a season-low 3 1/3 innings.
Dodgers:Brock Stewart makes a spot start Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. PT against the Twins. Stewart, who was ill over the weekend, has made six scoreless relief appearances this year after missing Spring Training with shoulder tendinitis.