In first All-Star at-bat, Dozier goes deep

Twins second baseman 16th player to achieve feat; Perkins finishes off AL victory in ninth

In first All-Star at-bat, Dozier goes deep

Brian Dozier made his first All-Star appearance a memorable one. He also made his Twins teammate's job a little easier in the ninth inning.

He entered Tuesday night's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and promptly clubbed a home run to center field off Pirates closer Mark Melancon.

Dozier's solo shot gave the American League a four-run lead in a 6-3 victory over the National League at Great American Ball Park. It was the first pinch-hit homer in the All-Star Game since Victor Martinez hit one in 2007.

The Twins' second baseman also guaranteed that closer Glen Perkins wouldn't pick up his second straight All-Star Game save. As soon as the ball left Dozier's bat, Perkins knew a save was out of the question.

"Honestly, I thought about it while he was up: 'He's going to hit a home run and I'm not going to get a save,'" Perkins said. "But we won, so that's good. He got to have a moment, and I got to have a moment, too. So it's pretty special."

Instead, Perkins gave up a run in the ninth inning before finishing off the NL in his third Midsummer Classic appearance. He recorded the final out of last year's All-Star Game as well, picking up the save at Target Field.

"Save or no save, I think just being out there, being the last guy, I appreciate [AL manager Ned Yost] giving me that opportunity," Perkins said.

Perkins induces flyout

A late addition to the AL squad, Dozier became the 16th player to hit a home run in his first All-Star Game at-bat. He's just the second Twins player with an All-Star pinch-hit homer, joining Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who did so in 1961.

Before Dozier, the last Twins hitter to go deep in the All-Star Game was Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett in 1993.

Dozier, Puckett and Killebrew are Minnesota's only players to homer in the All-Star Game.

"I might say I don't deserve to be in that company, I can tell you that," Dozier said. "I don't deserve that."

Dozier on great All-Star Game

This was Dozier's second trip to the Midsummer Classic, but his first time participating in the game. On Tuesday, he picked up right where he left off in last year's Home Run Derby.

"It's been a lot of fun, and obviously with how everything shook itself out last week and allowed an opportunity for me just to come here, not knowing if I'd get an at-bat or not," Dozier said. "All in all, home run or not, whatever it is, we had a lot of fun.

"These past few days [have] been really, really exciting to get to know these guys and everything. It's been pretty cool."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.