The home runs keep coming for Brian Dozier. And so do the losses for the Minnesota Twins.
The former Southern Miss star hit his 39th homer of the season, tying him with Alfonso Soriano for most in a season by an American League second baseman, but the Kansas City Royals scored seven runs in the ninth inning to beat the Twins 10-3 on Tuesday night.
“Similar script,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We made it interesting longer.”
Molitor was talking more about the struggles of an overworked bullpen, but he could have easily been referring to Dozier’s brilliance coming in vain. He has 25 home runs since the All-Star break. Three of those were hit as a DH, but his 22 as a second baseman surpassed Hall of Famer Joe Gordon’s 21 for the most ever by an American League second baseman. But the Twins are just 2-17 in their last 19 games and have sunk to the worst record in the majors.
Dozier was gone by the time reporters entered the clubhouse after the game.
“It’s kind of like a video game,” Molitor said. “It’s impressive to watch.”
Kendrys Morales did Dozier one better, hitting two homers and driving in five runs for the Royals. His second of the game was a three-run blast in Kansas City’s seven-run ninth inning. Another former Twin, Drew Butera, broke open the 3-3 tie with a bases loaded single earlier in the ninth inning off Brandon Kintzler (0-2).
“They don’t give you any chance,” said Twins starter Ervin Santana, who gave up three runs and three hits in six innings. “They fight every at-bat and they do a lot of damage.”
Dozier has homered in five straight games, tying him with Harmon Killebrew and Marty Cordova for the longest streak in Twins history.
After going deep three times in a loss to the Royals on Monday night, Dozier led off the game on Tuesday with a 395-foot blast off Dillon Gee into the second deck in left field. It was Dozier’s 76th extra-base hit of the season, which already puts him in second place in Twins history, with Tony Oliva’s 84 in 1964 atop the list.
Only Atlanta’s Davey Johnson (42) in 1973, Hornsby (42) in 1922 and Cubs great Ryne Sandberg (40) in 1990 have hit more in a homers season as second basemen.
Trevor Plouffe and Eddie Rosario also homered for the Twins, who won for the third time in their last 19 games.
Royals: Recalled INF Christian Colon and selected the contracts of OF Daniel Nava and RHP Kevin McCarthy from Triple-A Omaha. OF Reymond Fuentes and RHP Nick Tepesch were designated for assignment to make room.
Twins: Recalled RHP Tyler Duffey, 1B Kennys Vargas and INF James Beresford from Triple-A Rochester. Molitor said Duffey would return to the starting rotation on Friday against Cleveland.
Beresford was signed by the Twins as a 16-year-old out of Australia 12 years ago and appeared in 1,070 career games in the minor leagues before finally being called up on Tuesday. Phillies minor leaguer Christian Marrero (1,126) and Giants minor leaguer Juan Ciriaco (1,075) are the only active players who have played more minor league games without appearing in the big leagues, the Twins said.
Several Twins players wore green t-shirts with a yellow kangaroo on it and four stars, one for each of Beresford’s career homers. The kangaroo is swinging a newspaper, a playful jab at Beresford’s lack of power.
“Today it changes everything. It changes my life,” Beresford said. “I’d go through another 10 years (in the minors) just to spend another day like this.”
Royals: OF Lorenzo Cain missed his sixth straight game because of left wrist inflammation. He is listed as day to day.
Twins: Plouffe had to leave the game in the middle of an at-bat in the eighth inning with a left oblique strain. Plouffe left after falling behind 1-2 and was replaced by Vargas. … LHP Tommy Milone (left biceps) and RHP Trevor May (back) threw simulated games on Tuesday. Molitor said both would likely be activated on Friday.
The Royals send LHP Danny Duffy (11-2, 3.13) to the mound to face Twins RHP Kyle Gibson (5-9, 5.31) in the series finale. Duffy has been dominant for most of the season, but has allowed at least eight hits in three straight starts. Gibson has been largely disappointing in his Twins career, but is 5-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 10 career starts against Kansas City.