Dozier delivers in the clutch to spark Twins' win

MINNEAPOLIS - On the same day he was left off the American League All-Star team, Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier showed why he should be headed to Cincinnati for next week's Midsummer Classic.

Minnesota Twins right fielder Torii Hunter, right, and center fielder Aaron Hicks dump water on second baseman Brian Dozier and Fox Sports North’s Marney Gellner after his walk-off home run in the 10th inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday at Target Field. USA Today Sports

MINNEAPOLIS – On the same day he was left off the American League All-Star team, Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier showed why he should be headed to Cincinnati for next week’s Midsummer Classic.
Dozier’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Twins to a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday at Target Field.
Dozier, who leads all of Major League Baseball in extra-base hits and runs scored and is first among A.L. second basemen in homers, is one of the final five players selected for the American League’s Final Vote campaign, where fans can select the final All-Star in each league.
The walk-off hit, his first of the season, helped salvage a disappointing day for Dozier, who is still seeking his first trip to the All-Star Game.
“I was kind of optimistic about it, going into the whole deal once they announced the starters last night,” Dozier said. “It is what it is. If it happens, it happens. But I promise you, I won’t lose any sleep over it.”
The victory certainly helped too: Baltimore and Minnesota began their three-game series here tied for the second wild-card spot in the A.L.
“Much-needed win,” Dozier said. “That’s pretty much the only thing on my mind right now.”
With the game tied at 2 entering the bottom of the 10th, shortstop Danny Santana ripped a one-out single to left, setting up Dozier’s heroics. The second baseman ripped a 2-0 fastball from Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter into the left-field seats for his first walk-off hit since June 20, 2014.

Santana’s single was Minnesota’s first hit since a leadoff single by designated hitter Miguel Sano in the fourth inning. The Twins finished with just six on the night.

Sano, making his home debut, was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.

Trevor May, appearing out of the bullpen for the first time this season, earned the win for Minnesota, pitching one scoreless inning.
“Both teams were grinding,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “A really good win for us.”
Each of Monday’s starters was credited with a quality start, although neither figured in the final decision.
Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen lasted seven innings, allowing just four hits while giving up two runs and three walks and striking out five. For Chen, it was his seventh consecutive outing of allowing three runs or less, and the eighth time in his last 10 starts he has done it. Chen lowered his ERA to 2.82 in the process.
Minnesota starter Phil Hughes was nearly as effective, allowing just the two runs on nine hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings. A scoring change on Sunday snapped his streak of quality starts at four, but Hughes has now gone at least six innings and allowed three runs or less in five of his last six starts overall.
The right-hander was in line for his eighth win until he gave up a solo home run to center fielder Adam Jones, a shot that hit high off the left-field foul pole with one out in the sixth. It was the 21st home run Hughes has allowed this season, most in the American League.
Baltimore threatened to take the lead in the sixth, as right fielder Chris Davis followed Jones’ blast with a single. A double by catcher Matt Wieters put runners on second and third with one out, but Hughes worked out of the jam, getting a grounder back to the mound and a fly out to center to end the inning.
Hughes departed with a pair of runners on in the seventh, but left-hander Brian Duensing coaxed a double play on his first pitch to end the threat.
Baltimore finished the game 0-for-8 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
“It’s not something you just dial up because someone is out there,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “There’s two parts to the equation. We had some opportunities we didn’t take advantage of. But sometimes you have to give credit to the other guy too.”
The Orioles jumped ahead early on a solo home run by third baseman Manny Machado on the second pitch of the game. It was the fourth leadoff homer by Machado this season.
Machado, celebrating his 23rd birthday on Monday, was selected for his second All-Star Game appearance earlier in the day.
But Baltimore’s lead was short-lived.
Twins right fielder Torii Hunter evened the score in the bottom half of the inning, hitting his 13th homer of the season off the facing of the upper deck in left field.
Another solo blast, this one by center fielder Aaron Hicks, gave the Twins the lead in the second inning. Hicks hit an 0-1 off-speed offering from Chen into the bullpen in left-center field for his third home run of the season and second in as many days.
Hicks added a fine running catch to end the fourth inning, robbing Orioles first baseman Chris Parmelee of a sure RBI hit. With a pair of runners on, Parmelee crushed a Hughes fastball to the deepest part of the ballpark. But Hicks tracked it down, hauling it in with a pretty over-the-shoulder, Willie Mays-style catch with his back completely facing home plate, preserving the Twins lead.

wwBAL ab r h bi MIN ab r h bi
Machado 3b 4 1 2 1 Dozier 2b 4 1 1 2
Paredes dh 5 0 0 0 Hunter rf 4 1 1 1
Jones cf 5 1 1 1 Mauer 1b 4 0 1 0
Davis rf 4 0 1 0 Plouffe 3b 3 0 0 0
Wieters c 4 0 3 0 Sano dh 2 0 1 0
Hardy ss 4 0 0 0 Nunez pr 0 0 0 0
Parml 1b 4 0 0 0 Rosario lf 4 0 0 0
Schoop 2b 4 0 1 0 Hicks cf 4 1 1 1
Lough lf 4 0 2 0 Suzuki c 4 0 0 0
Santana ss 4 1 1 0
Totals 38 2 10 2 Totals 33 4 6 4
Baltimore 100 001 000 0 - 2
Minnesota 110 000 000 2 - 4
LOB-Minnesota 5, Baltimore 7. 2B-Wieters (6). HR-Dozier (17), Hicks (3), Tr.Hunter (13), A.Jones (11), Machado (18). SB-Nunez (4), Schoop (1). 
Chen 7 4 2 2 3 5
O’Day 1 0 0 0 0 1
Tm.Hunter L, 2-2 1 1-3 2 2 2 1 0
P.Hughes 6 1-3 9 2 2 1 3
Duensing 2-3 0 0 0 0 0
Fien 1 0 0 0 0 1
Perkins 1 0 0 0 0 2
May W, 5-7 1 1 0 0 0 1
Inherited runners-scored-Duensing 2-0. 
Umpires-Home, Lazaro Diaz; First, Cory Blaser; Second, Jeff Nelson; Third, Clint Fagan.
T-2:49. A-23,213 (42,035)

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