Dozier, Twins overpower Royals to snap slide

Dozier, Twins overpower Royals to snap slide

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nothing will slow down Brian Dozier these days.

Dozier doubled and homered, and Eddie Rosario blasted a two-run homer as the Twins powered past the Royals, 5-3, on Saturday night at Target Field. The win snapped Minnesota's four-game losing streak.

"Dozier has just been incredible for quite a while," said Twins manager Paul Molitor. "I don't really look at where he stacks up around the league in terms of the past 40, 45, 50 games, but it's been fun to watch. He got us going in the first and hit the big home run for us, too. It was a good night."

Dozier now has 17 home runs since June 25, the most in baseball over that span. His homer in the sixth was his career 100th.

Tyler Duffey cruised through the Royals lineup, allowing six hits and two runs through seven innings. He walked one and struck out six.

"My last two starts, I just tried to get ahead and that opens the door for everything else," Duffey said. "I don't know how many guys I got behind, but I feel like I was ahead for most of the night. When that happens, things tend to work out for you."

Escobar starts spectacular DP

Right-hander Dillon Gee started for Kansas City and gave up 11 hits and five runs through 5 1/3 innings. Gee walked one and struck out six.

"He was one hitter away from having a really, really good outing," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Gee. "Rosario was gonna be his last hitter. We were going to bring [Peter] Moylan in to face Dozier, and have [Brian] Flynn for the switch-hitter and [Joe] Mauer.

"He ends up elevating a pitch to Rosario on the home run. And then I don't want to burn Moylan to face Dozier and [Gee] elevates another pitch."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dozier hits the century mark: The Twins' second baseman put an exclamation mark on his prolonged power surge when he smashed a fastball a Statcast-projected 426 feet into Target Field's second deck for his 25th of the year. The homer followed Rosario's two-run shot to chase Gee and give the Twins a 5-1 lead. Dozier became the 16th player in Twins history and the eighth active second baseman to hit the 100-homer plateau.

"If you'd asked me this around four and a half years ago, I don't know how soon I'd have gotten to that, if ever," Dozier said. "So it's pretty cool."

Dozier earned the first curtain call of his five-year career from an energetic crowd of more than 30,000 fans at Target Field. After the game, his teammates taped over his locker and jersey in the Twins' clubhouse with labels proclaiming him as "Mister 100."

Cuthbert goes yard: Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert, a sleeper candidate for American League Rookie of the Year honors, belted his 10th homer of the season, a solo shot off Duffey in the third inning that soared into the bullpen in left-center field. The homer pulled the Royals into a 1-1 tie at the time.

Duffey dominates: The depleted Minnesota bullpen got a much-needed rest thanks to Duffey, who became the first Twins starter to complete seven innings since July 29. He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out six. Duffey has now given the Twins two straight quality starts after holding Houston to one run on Monday. More >

"It's one of those things where I know I have to keep working to get better," Duffey said. "That's all I've done every time I have a bullpen now. I've made a point to get out there and work on something and get better, because I had a pretty rough stretch there and I was tired of that."

Duffey holds Royals to two runs

The bunt that wasn't: The Royals had a great chance to do some damage in the fifth inning. Alex Gordon led off with a walk and Alcides Escobar hit a single. That brought up Raul Mondesi, one of the best bunters on the team. But Mondesi popped out to catcher Kurt Suzuki. Paulo Orlando followed with a hard grounder up the middle that could have been a go-ahead, two-run single.

"He's an excellent bunter. Just shows there is nothing in this game is a sure thing, no matter how good you are at it,' Yost said. "It's tough to do it."

Added Mondesi, "I've got to do my [job]. It was a bad bunt. I didn't like it. Nobody liked it. Tomorrow's a new day."

QUOTABLE
"It tastes a lot better when you're on the winning side for sure. I'd definitely trade those 100 homers for 100 more wins over the last four years or so." -- Dozier

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The homers by Rosario and Dozier in the sixth marked the 11th time this season the Twins have gone back-to-back, which tied the 1986 Twins for the second-most in team history. The 1964 Twins hit consecutive homers 14 times for the team record.

Rosario, Dozier go back-to-back

WHAT'S NEXT
Royals: Right-hander Edinson Volquez (8-10, 5.03 ERA) will take the mound for the Royals to close out the series on Sunday. Volquez gave up 10 hits and four runs over six innings in his last start Tuesday against the White Sox, a no-decision. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.

Twins: Still winless as a Twin, left-hander Hector Santiago (10-6, 4.47 ERA) will make his third start in a Minnesota uniform after joining the team in the trade that sent Ricky Nolasco to the Angels. He allowed five runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Astros on Tuesday.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.