Brian Dozier went to the plate with a plan as he led off the Twins' 10-4 victory in Detroit between the Twins and the Tigers. The Twins are in the heat of the WIld Card race, so with every inning of the utmost importance, he decided to try to get them off on the right foot by surprising pitcher Matthew Boyd and his defense with a drag bunt.
It briefly popped in the air, but landed safely in front of third baseman Jeimer Candelario. Although it would have taken a good play to get Dozier, Candelario went for it. His throw went way off line, and Dozier was off to the races:
This might be a fast-motion GIF, but look at Dozier go!
The Tigers didn't have anyone particularly close to the area in right-field foul territory where Candelario's throw went, so thanks to Dozier's hustle, he was able to circle the bases on one of the wackiest leadoff plays you'll ever see. The Twins took a 1-0 lead and ended up winning with an eight-run eighth inning to cut their magic number in the AL Central to 4.
Twins manager Paul Molitor called it "an exciting start," though he had been taken aback by Dozier's strategy. He was happy to see that it worked out. "I told Doz when he scored that it was the first time he led off a game with a bunt all year," he said to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. "It kind of caught me by surprise. They threw it away and it ended up in no-man's land and he circled the bases."
Dozier ran a similar route back in April on an inside-the-park homer against James Shields, so that marks the second time this year that he's been able to take advantage of the defense on a strange play.
Whatever works, right Brian?