Dozier, Minnesota falls to Detroit, hits 96 losses

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Brian Dozier can only do so much. The Minnesota Twins, already hamstrung by poor pitching, have lost their way at the plate, too.

Matt Boyd breezed through eight innings, backed by home runs from James McCann and Miguel Cabrera as the Detroit Tigers beat the Twins 8-1 on Tuesday night to step forward to cut the deficit between them and the second AL wild card spot to 1 1/2 games.

Boyd (6-4) bounced back from an 8-1 defeat by the Twins at home last week, giving up a homer to Robbie Grossman in the seventh among only three hits allowed. He matched his career best with seven strikeouts and walked just one, after being pounded by Minnesota for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings on Sept. 13.

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Dozier had a lonely leadoff single in the bottom of the first and stole second base with none out, only to be stranded. Max Kepler walked in the second inning and was quickly caught stealing. Then Boyd retired 14 straight batters until Grossman went deep with one out in the seventh.

“He was on tonight, and you’ve got to tip your hat to him,” said Twins center fielder Byron Buxton.

The Twins, who allowed eight or more runs for the 39th time in this awful season, have scored just five times in the last four games. With Trevor Plouffe, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer injured, the Twins have lost some punch.

“You can tell that some of the guys who aren’t used to playing this long into the season, maybe taking a little bit of a toll, but you’ve got to try to find a way to finish as strongly as you can,” manager Paul Molitor said.

Hector Santiago (12-9), who lost for the first time in his last five starts, wasn’t exactly a hard-luck loser. He gave up a three-run shot into second deck above left-center in a four-run sixth to McCann. Cabrera hit his 34th homer the following inning, a two-run drive against Michael Tonkin.