Dozier ties Killebrew's mark with first-pitch homer

Second baseman's 12 August dingers are 3rd most in a month in club history

Dozier ties Killebrew's mark with first-pitch homer

CLEVELAND -- The homers keep coming for Brian Dozier, but unfortunately for the Twins, so do the losses.

Dozier homered on the first pitch of Tuesday's game against the Indians, giving him his 31st of the year and his 12th in August, which is the most homers a Twins player has hit in a month since Harmon Killebrew also smacked a dozen dingers in July of 1969. But the solo shot came in another tough loss for the Twins, who dropped their 12th straight in a 5-4 defeat. It's third-longest skid in Minnesota history, and the longest since losing a club-record 14 in a row in 1982.

It put a damper on Dozier's latest blast, but the second baseman said it was still an honor to be mentioned alongside Killebrew, who hit 573 homers en route to the Hall of Fame. Killebrew also owns the club record for homers in a month with 14, set in June 1964, while Jimmie Hall hit 13 in August 1963.

"I don't think there's any celebrating," Dozier said. "I'm sure he didn't hit his 12th on the same day of 12 losses in a row. I can guarantee you that. They didn't have 83 losses at this time of the year, so that's the frustrating part. But I think it's cool. You can take one little positive out of that. He's one of the best Twins players of all time, and I'm undeserving to be mentioned with him."

Twins manager Paul Molitor had a similar view, as he's been impressed by Dozier, who has a Major League-leading 23 homers dating back to June 25, but it was hard to get too excited about the feat after yet another loss.

"It's not time to really consider what individuals have done as we're trying to battle through," Molitor said. "We'll have time to look back at some of the accomplishments along the way. But it's not the prevailing thing we're worried about right now."

The homer on the first pitch of the game was the first by a Twins player since Jacque Jones on June 7, 2003. The leadoff blast also moved Dozier ahead of Chuck Knoblauch for the second-most leadoff homers in club history. Jones holds the franchise mark with 20.

"My job as a leadoff hitter is not the opportunity to hit a leadoff homer or anything like that, but to spark an offense that's been struggling of late," Dozier said. "Homer, double, stolen base, score a run. That's what drove our success last year, scoring first."

The homer helped the Twins get out to an early lead, as they were up 4-1 heading into the bottom of the second, but again it wasn't enough, and it left Dozier frustrated.

"It's all about wins," Dozier said. "No matter how many homers you hit in a month, you look up and see 12 straight losses, and I'd trade that for 12 wins any time."

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.