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Twins top Dodgers 3-2 as Julien's homers give offense signs of life

The Twins scored only three runs in their series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, but they took down two notable streaks in the process.

Byron Buxton gave the offense their first hit with a runner in scoring position in a week, mercifully ending a drought that spanned 33 at-bats with his RBI single to left field in the third inning.

The second streak ended after Edouard Julien hit two homers, including the first of his career against a lefthanded pitcher, and Carlos Correa provided some defensive wizardry to end the Twins' four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory at Target Field.

It was a small step forward for a slumping offense, but they salvaged their lone win in a five-game homestand.

"A lot of people see the things that happen, but how many lineouts have we had over the past week?" Buxton said. "How many things that just didn't go our way? Just have to keep chipping away and stay resilient."

Julien, who entered with three hits in 28 at-bats, doubled his season's hit total by the fifth inning Wednesday. He hit a leadoff homer off Dodgers righty Bobby Miller, belting a low fastball for the third leadoff homer of his career.

"I just knew that if I kept being positive, it's going to come," said Julien, noting he kept seeing pitches at the bottom of the strike zone. "I just don't feel like I'd hit like that for a while. I have confidence in myself and I knew at some point I was going to start hitting."

BOXSCORE: Twins 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

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In the third inning, Julien and Correa hit back-to-back singles. Hitless with runners in scoring position during the club's five-game homestand, Buxton came through when he lined an elevated slider into left field.

Whether Buxton's hit was a relief, a chance to settle down or just a matter of time, those are the opportunities the Twins haven't capitalized upon during their 4-6 start to the season.

Julien delivered his third hit of the afternoon with a solo homer off lefthander Alex Vesia in the fifth inning. It was Julien's first career homer off a lefty pitcher and only his second extra-base hit against a lefty in 52 career plate appearances.

Three hits, three runs and a leadoff man who looked like himself again.

When Julien was asked whether he was happier with his leadoff homer or his homer against a lefty, he cracked a smile and called it an easy answer. One of his goals during the offseason was hitting better against lefties. He asked manager Rocco Baldelli to let him face more lefties during spring training games.

"He's proving himself in the games," Baldelli said.

Five Twins relievers combined to pitch 4⅓ scoreless innings with an assist to their defense. Leading by a run in the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman hit a two-out double into the right-field corner with Shohei Ohtani on first base. Ohtani, a quick runner, was about three steps past third base when Correa fired a relay throw from the outfield grass, about 40 feet behind the first-base bag.

Correa's throw was a perfect strike in front of the plate — "Saved the game right there," Buxton said — and Ohtani was out after a safe call was quickly overturned through a replay review.

"You anticipate Carlos making the play," Baldelli said. "Most of those plays are not made in our game."

Correa's picture-perfect relay throw came one inning after Vázquez threw out James Outman attempting to steal second base with an acrobatic tag from Correa. Vázquez has thrown out three baserunners in seven attempts this year.

"We needed that win," Correa said. "It's a tough team on the other side. You can't be giving them any extra outs, and you've got to try to finish every play. We did just that."