Twins picking up home run pace

Twins picking up home run pace

MINNEAPOLIS -- With players such as Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe and Byung Ho Park on the roster, the Twins figured they'd have their share of power in the lineup this season.

But little did they know they'd receive a boost from unlikely sources such as Eduardo Nunez and Robbie Grossman, who have emerged as the club's two hottest hitters. Nunez and Grossman were at it again on Tuesday, as Nunez hit two solo blasts, while Grossman hit a game-tying solo shot of his own in the eighth. It set the stage for a walk-off two-run homer from Dozier with two outs in the 11th inning to give the Twins a 6-4 win over the Marlins at Target Field.

It gave the Twins seven homers over their last two games, with Grossman and Nunez combining for five of those, and moved the club into 18th in the Majors with 61 big flies this season.

"We have been showing signs of it along the way," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of the recent power surge. "We've had some streaks where we've hit them in bunches like in Seattle before going dry in Oakland. Different guys have been doing it. We need to get as many guys involved just to keep that balance. But it's nice when it goes over, that's for sure."

Nunez homers off Conley twice

Nunez, who has homered in three straight games, has already set a career high with nine long balls in 48 games, while Grossman has hit four in 17 games since joining Minnesota on May 20. It was the seventh homer for Dozier, who had 11 at this point last year, but a good sign from the second baseman, who has had a down year after being an All-Star for the first time last season.

Dozier's walk-off home run

"You always want to be in those situations," said Dozier, who has three walk-off homers in his career. "I had an opportunity a couple times against Tampa Bay, feeling good, but didn't get it done. That's just how baseball is. But tonight, homers aren't hit, they're thrown, and that was a hanging breaking ball right there."

Dozier has started to show some signs he's coming out of his slump, as he's hitting .256/.362/.487 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last 10 games. He was moved down to fifth in the order on Tuesday, with Grossman moving up to second, but Molitor is hopeful the game-winning homer will help Dozier continue to get back on track.

"He's still looking to find it at-bat in, and at-bat out," Molitor said. "But with the game on the line, he put together his best at-bat of the night. You just hope he catapults himself at some point to where he's contributing every day with the bat."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.