Dozier's homer caps seven-run ninth, Twins beat Tigers 8-6
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Brian Dozier lost the All-Star vote, then won the game.
Dozier hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to cap a seven-run rally and give the Minnesota Twins an 8-6 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
After missing out on an All-Star nomination in the final player vote earlier in the day, Dozier had two hits and four RBIs, and hit his second game-winning homer of the week. Dozier homered off Detroit closer Joakim Soria (3-1), who blew his third save in 23 chances.
''The one a few days ago only went about five rows up,'' Dozier said. ''So once I hit it, I knew it was gone. So I looked to the dugout, then I looked back to left just to make sure. I second-guessed myself there for a second.''
The Twins scored seven times in the ninth off Soria and Bruce Rondon after being limited to one run by Justin Verlander, who went 7 2-3 innings.
''You have to be ready for the game in any situation. Whatever the score is you have to be mentally ready for the game,'' said Soria, who wasn't warming up at the beginning of the inning. ''Feel badly because Verlander threw a nice game and I blew it. It's part of baseball and sometimes the ball goes like that.''
Trevor May (6-7) pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits.
Dozier was part of the American League's final player vote for the All-Star game and found out before the game he finished second to Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Dozier - who entered Friday tied with Toronto All-Star Josh Donaldson for the most extra-base hits in the majors - hit a game-winning home run in the ninth on Monday after finding out he didn't make the All-Star team on the first balloting.
''Dozier right now is definitely our MVP,'' Twins outfielder Torii Hunter said. ''He's doing everything he can to will this team to win and it showed tonight.''
Dozier's RBI single in the eighth chased Verlander, who had the best outing of his truncated season.
Eddie Rosario had an RBI single in the ninth, Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Danny Santana drove in two runs with a single before Dozier's 19th home run of the season.
''We just strung everything together,'' Dozier said. ''I feel like it happened so quickly; bam, bam, bam and we win the game. That's a good thing about this team; we never feel like we're out of it.''
Verlander held Minnesota to five hits and one run while striking out six in his fifth start off the disabled list.
In his first four outings this season, Verlander had allowed 17 earned runs in 22 2-3 innings. He looked in vintage form against his longtime rivals in the Central, giving up just two hits and a walk through the first seven innings.
''My last start, I told you guys my stuff is much better,'' Verlander said. ''Felt like I was real close. Tonight was much better than last time.''
Yoenis Cespedes had three hits, including a three-run homer, for Detroit. Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez added home runs for the Tigers. In seven games without the injured Miguel Cabrera, Detroit has averaged 6.6 runs.
''That one stunk,'' Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. ''Can't pout about it. Got another game and we'll come back and go at it again.''
Ervin Santana gave up six runs in four innings for the Twins in his second start since returning from an 80-game suspension for a banned substance.
A week after designating Joba Chamberlain for assignment, the Tigers gave the right-handed reliever his unconditional release on Friday. Chamberlain was 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA in 30 games in his second season with Detroit after signing a one-year, $1 million contract in the offseason.
''I wouldn't be shocked if somebody picked him up,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. ''His arm was working good. He was throwing mid-90s. It wouldn't shock me if somebody took a shot at him thinking maybe a change of environment would be good for him.''
Detroit's Alfredo Simon (8-5, 4.18 ERA) will try to snap a streak of allowing at least five runs in four straight games when the right-hander faces RHP Phil Hughes for the Twins in a Saturday afternoon matchup. Hughes (7-6, 4.19) has won three straight decisions and allowed two runs or fewer in three of his last four games.