MINNEAPOLIS -- With three more homers against the Royals in Monday's 11-5 loss, Brian Dozier is in some exclusive company as he became only the second Twins player to hit more than 35 homers in a season, joining Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.
Dozier connected on a solo homer in the first off Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy before adding a go-ahead two-run shot in the third on the 10th pitch of his at-bat. His third came in the eighth inning, a solo shot hit to the third deck to left off reliever Brooks Pounders. It gave him 38 homers, which is the second most in baseball behind only Baltimore's Mark Trumbo, who has 41. He's the first Twins player to reach 38 homers since Killebrew hit 41 in 1970.
His three homers were also crushed, as they went a combined 1,290 feet, per Statcast™. It's the longest combined distance for a three-homer game this season, and the second-longest of the Statcast™ era, trailing only Alex Rodriguez's 1,324 feet of homers on July 25, 2015. But it came in yet another loss, and Dozier downplayed his accomplishment.
"It would be a lot better if we were on the winning side of it," Dozier said. "It is what it is. It was pretty cool. Three homers or whatever. But going into that last at-bat, I was extremely frustrated with how we had given up the lead."
Despite his frustration with the way the Twins have been playing, Dozier came out for a curtain call after his third homer. It's a rare feat, as it was the sixth three-homer game in Twins history, joining Max Kepler (2016), Justin Morneau (2007), Bob Allison (1963), Harmon Killebrew (1963) and Tony Oliva (1973).
"It was kinda awkward, and I didn't know what to do," Dozier said. "But it sinks in that even if you're on the losing side, we have loyal fans who paid good money to be here."
It also was Dozier's 10th homer against Kansas City this season, which set the record for the most homers by an opponent versus the Royals in franchise history. Dozier has homered in eight of his last 10 games against the Royals.
"It's amazing to watch, it really is," said Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. "I think we could all appreciate the third one a lot more because we were up by a little bit and it wasn't as close of a game."
Dozier's 38 homers are the most by a Major League second baseman since Alfonso Soriano also hit 38 in 2003. The all-time record by a second baseman is 42 homers by Davey Johnson in 1973, while the American League record is Soriano's 39 in 2002.
Dozier has 31 homers over his last 70 games dating back to June 19, which is the most in the Majors over that span. Trumbo is second with 21. For context, Dozier has 21 homers over his last 35 games.
"You don't see runs like this very often from anybody," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "They just keep coming. He did what he could today, getting us in the game with the leadoff homer, a two-run homer after a lengthy at-bat and the exclamation point to the day with his last one."