Dozier's walk-off caps Twins' 4-HR night vs. Marlins
By Rhett Bollinger and Dan Myers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier hit a walk-off two-run homer with two outs in the 11th inning to lift the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night at Target Field.
Dozier's game-winning homer came off Marlins right-hander Dustin McGowan and plated Joe Mauer, who reached on a one-out walk. The homer, Minnesota's fourth of the game, came on a 3-2 slider from McGowan and was Dozier's first since June 2.
"It felt good," Dozier said. "McGowan threw me a lot of breaking balls. I only saw one fastball. So on 3-2, I was thinking he was going to throw me a breaking ball. If he blew it by me, he blew it by me. But it kind of backed up. Jogging around the bases felt good."
The Marlins led by a run in the eighth, but Robbie Grossman tied it up with his fourth homer since joining the Twins on May 20. Grossman, whose homer came off reliever David Phelps, also doubled in the first inning, and has reached safely in 16 of his 17 games with Minnesota.
It spoiled a solid start from Marlins lefty Adam Conley, who went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts. Conley was hurt by a pair of solo homers from Eduardo Nunez, coming in the first and fifth innings.
"I think I made a few mistakes, two of them to Nunez obviously," Conley said. "In the middle game I kind of got some rhythm where I was getting ahead of guys. The slider was good today. I didn't have to think too much about it. It was just grabbing it and throwing it as hard as I could."
Minnesota's bullpen picked up the slack for Dean, as seven relievers combined to throw 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits with 10 strikeouts.
Lefty Buddy Boshers recorded two outs in the 11th and picked up his first Major League win.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Nunez goes deep twice: Conley entered with the longest streak among starters without giving up a homer, but it quickly came to an end in the first, when Nunez connected on a leadoff blast into the third deck. It ended Conley's streak of facing 181 batters without serving up a homer. Conley went another 17 batters before Nunez hit his second solo shot in the fifth inning. It was the first-career multi-homer game for Nunez.
"For me it was more than the two home runs," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "They were eye-poppers in terms of contributing to our offense, but he also made a couple nice plays at short." More >
Prado rolling on the road: The Marlins began a nine-game road trip on Tuesday, a sign that Martin Prado could be in line for a big couple of weeks. He entered the game third in the Majors in road batting average this season and kept right on rolling, doubling twice and also drawing a first-inning walk.
Grossman ties it up: The Twins hadn't had a hit since the fifth inning, but Grossman was able to tie the game with one swing of the bat in the eighth with his solo shot to right off Phelps. Grossman has been one of Minnesota's hottest hitters since joining the Twins, and is hitting .339/.464/.679 while establishing himself as the club's everyday left fielder.
"He's getting it done," Molitor said. "I bounced him around the order and he keeps taking good at-bats. He just knows how to play."
Conley settles in: The left-hander's night started loudly after allowing a leadoff homer to Nunez and a double off the wall to Grossman. The Twins posted two runs off Conley in the first inning, but he settled in after that and made it through 6 2/3 innings in line for the victory.
"I thought Adam threw the ball extremely well tonight," said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. "Nunez obviously got him. ... Early, he tried to get in there and left them over in the first inning and it looked like about the same pitch. He threw the ball well. I thought he kept coming all night long, kind of got us there."
"You have to take advantage of the situations you're given, and I was able to do that tonight. We were able to pull out a big win in the 11th inning. We battled back all night." -- Boshers, on his first career win, coming in his 29th appearance
"I hate losing a lot more than I like winning. I personally didn't pick up a loss today, but we're a team and we're here to win." -- Conley, on pitching well in a Marlins loss
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Giancarlo Stanton didn't have a hit in his first three at-bats on Tuesday, but that didn't mean he wasn't making solid contact. Stanton hit a ground ball 120 mph (according to Statcast™) in the first inning that Nunez snared in the hole between short and third. Stanton is the only player this season to hit a ball 120 mph, having now done it twice; his single against the Nationals on April 10 traveled 120.1 mph.
But Stanton wasn't done. Grossman caught a Stanton fly ball with his back against the left-field wall to lead off the fourth inning before Stanton hit a rocket to Nunez again in the fifth, which traveled 118 mph. Stanton now has the five hardest-hit balls this season; only three of them have gone for hits and none for extra bases.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins: Miami will face former Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco for the first time in the second game of a three-game series at Target Field on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. ET. Nolasco went 81-72 with a 4.44 ERA in 213 games with the Marlins from 2006-13. Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will be on the mound for the Marlins, looking for his first win since May 11. Chen has been solid his last two starts, allowing a total of three earned runs in 11 innings against the Braves and Pirates.
Twins: Nolasco (2-4, 4.93 ERA) is set to face his former team for the first time in his career on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Nolasco is coming off a strong start, as he gave up two runs over 7 2/3 innings against the Rays on Friday.