Handstands were in order. But Paul DePodesta was carrying his toddler son, so he allowed himself only a contented smile.
For a day, anyway, the Dodger general manager's heavily criticized philosophies were vindicated in a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
All the Dodger runs came on home runs. The defense was shaky but not catastrophic. Six pitchers thrived on strikeouts and clear-cut roles.
And players DePodesta believed in when few others did came through, beginning with first baseman Hee-Seop Choi, who capped a torrid weekend with home runs in his first three at-bats.
Choi hit six homers in the three-game series and has 12 this season, and the Twins left with their ears ringing from the thunderous "HEE! SEOP! CHOI!" chant of the announced sellout crowd of 54,368.
D.J. Houlton, a Rule 5 pick many believed was dead weight on a roster already stocked with rookies, struck out eight in six innings and calmly wriggled out of several jams for his second victory in as many starts.
Even DePodesta's failed moves looked good. Brad Radke was the first free-agent pitcher the Dodgers tried to sign during the off-season, but he opted to return to Minnesota.
It was Radke who unsuccessfully tried to slip fastballs past Choi. The 6-foot-5 first baseman homered on consecutive pitches -- an 0-and-1 count in the first inning and the first pitch in the fourth and sixth.
J.D. Drew homered after Choi in the fourth, the sixth time the Dodgers have gotten back-to-back homers this season.
Radke (5-5) was visibly angered when Twin Manager Ron Gardenhire removed him with two on and two out in the seventh with Choi up. In came Terry Mulholland, who had given up a walk-off home run to Choi on Friday night by throwing a first-pitch fastball.
This time he threw mainly breaking pitches and Choi struck out, proving pitcher Brad Penny is not psychic.
"Before the game Penny said I would hit four homers," Choi said. "I said maybe two."
His compromise of three was enough for the Dodgers (33-29) because of the strong work of five relievers.
Giovanni Carrara walked the leadoff batter in the seventh and fielded a bunt for the first out. Left-hander Kelly Wunsch threw one pitch, retiring Justin Morneau, and Duaner Sanchez struck out Torii Hunter.
Then it was three up, three down in the eighth courtesy of Yhency Brazoban and the same in the ninth courtesy of Eric Gagne, who struck out two for his eighth save and has retired 14 batters in a row.
Houlton got through six innings even though the ball was carrying well and the Dodger defense played poorly, earning a start against the Chicago White Sox next weekend. Four doubles and a triple were among the seven hits he gave up, including a ball that popped out of Drew's glove in center field and a blooper that should have been caught by Antonio Perez, who was playing shortstop because Cesar Izturis has a strained hamstring. Also, rookie catcher Mike Rose dropped a foul pop-up.
But Houlton struck out five with runners at third base, and second baseman Jeff Kent made a key play in the sixth by dashing over to first to catch a pop-up that Choi had lost in the sun with two out and runners on second and third.
The victory enabled the Dodgers to salvage a 7-6 record on a homestand that began with three losses to the Chicago Cubs. They begin a four-city trip Tuesday at Kansas City, and Choi already has a plan.
"My problem is I watch too many pitches," he said. "The batting coach, Tim Wallach, he changed me. Now I don't think about the count. I'm more aggressive."
DePodesta, who values on-base percentage highly, might prefer that Choi meld the best of both approaches and mix in a walk now and then. He hasn't drawn one since May 15.
Choi was too enraptured by results to worry about it. "Three pitches, three swings, three home runs," he said. "Unbelievable."
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Hee-Seop Choi batted .500 and hit six homers (five solo) as the Dodgers won two of three games against Minnesota. Choi had six home runs in his previous 144 at-bats. His batting average jumped 20 points to .263.
*--* GAME Result AB Run Hit RBI HR FRI. Win, 6-5 4 2 2 3 2 SAT. Loss, 5-3 4 1 1 1 1 SUN. Win, 4-3 4 3 3 3 3 TOTAL 12 6 6 7 6
Hee-Seop Choi hit home runs in his first three at-bats in the Dodgers' 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, becoming the fourth player to hit three homers in a major league game this season.
* Morgan Ensberg, Houston: May 15 vs. San Francisco.
* Hee-Seop Choi, DODGERS: June 12 vs. Minnesota.
* Dmitri Young, Detroit: April 4 vs. Kansas City.
* Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees: April 26 vs. Angels.