MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brian Dozier’s All-Star campaign started out with a bang Monday night.
Dozier hit a two-run home run with one out in the 10th inning to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Earlier in the day Dozier was selected as one of five candidates for the final roster spot on the AL All-Star team. He ended the night by lining a pitch from Tommy Hunter (2-2) into the left field seats for his 17th homer of the season. It scored Danny Santana, who singled one batter earlier.
"He missed with two backup sliders," Dozier said of Hunter. "I knew he wasn’t going to throw me three straight (sliders), so I was sitting dead-red heater and he left it up in the zone. I’ll take it."
Trevor May (5-7) pitched a scoreless 10th inning to earn the win in his first relief appearance of the season. May was moved to the bullpen when Ervin Santana returned from a season-long suspension over the weekend.
David Lough led off the 10th with a single and moved to second on Manny Machado’s long fly ball. May then struck out Jimmy Paredes and retired Adam Jones on a grounder to escape the jam.
"I think he’s going to like pitching one inning and getting a win," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It’s kind of a nice transition for him. He had to go through the heart of their lineup after that bloop to start the inning. They got him into scoring position and (May) got a couple huge outs."
The game reached the 10th inning tied 2-2 thanks to four long solo home runs. The Orioles struck first when Machado drove Phil Hughes’ second pitch into the seats in right-center for his fourth leadoff home run of the season and 18th overall.
Torii Hunter answered with a 411-foot shot off Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen in the bottom of the first.
Aaron Hicks put the Twins on top in the second with a solo shot into the bullpen, his second home run in as many days. But Adam Jones tied it with a drive high off the left field foul pole in the sixth.
Chen struck out five and walked three while pitching seven innings of four-hit ball. Hughes lasted 6 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and a walk while striking out three. The Orioles stranded seven runners, five in scoring position.
"We pitched well, but two runs are two runs any way you look at it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
In the fourth inning Hicks made a play in center field that recalled Willie Mays’ famous over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series. With two outs and a man on, Chris Parmelee sent a ball to deep center field. Hicks turned his back on home plate and took off running. Without looking back, he reached out on the warning track and made the catch.
Molitor was asked about the degree of difficulty of the catch. "The German judge gave it a 7.7," he quipped.
After the game the Twins announced that left-handed reliever Aaron Thompson had been optioned to Triple-A Rochester. Thompson was 1-3 with a 5.01 ERA in 41 appearances. He gave up a game-winning double to Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer on Sunday. Thompson will be replaced by 27-year-old lefty Ryan O’Rourke, who has yet to pitch in the big leagues.
Orioles infielder Ryan Flaherty’s stay in Triple A didn’t last long. Flaherty was optioned to Norfolk after Saturday’s game to make room for fellow infielder Jonathan Schoop, who returned from the 60-day disabled list. But on Monday the Orioles put outfielder Nolan Reimold on the paternity list so he can attend the birth of his daughter. Flaherty is hitting .248 with three homers and 20 RBI in 51 games with the Orioles this year.
Orioles: RHP Jason Garcia began a injury rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie on Monday. Garcia, who has a 5.93 ERA in eight appearances this year, is on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis.
Twins: RHP Ryan Pressly was put on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain. He was replaced on the roster by OF Shane Robinson, who returned from the Family Emergency List. . . . The team announced that RHP Ricky Nolasco will have surgery to remove bone fragments from his right ankle on July 13. Nolasco has not pitched since May 31. No timetable for his recovery was given.