DETROIT -- Brian Dozier reached an impressive milestone in the Twins' 4-2 loss to the Tigers on Monday, as the second baseman became only the second Twins player and third in franchise history to reach 40 homers in a season, joining Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and Roy Sievers of the Washington Senators.
Additionally, Dozier became the first American League player to reach 40 homers while primarily playing second base, breaking Alfonso Soriano's record of 39 set with the Yankees in 2002.
"I'm really proud of what he's been able to do," said manager Paul Molitor said. "I'm sure 39 is a number where it's hard not to think about it every time you come to the batter's box. He finally got his 40th, and I'm happy for him. But of course it came in another game where we couldn't get the win."
Twenty-three of Dozier's 40 homers have come in defeats, which Dozier said takes some of the luster off reaching the milestone.
"I think at the end of the year, once it's all over, I can get back home and reflect on the season and 40 and all that stuff a little bit more," Dozier said. "But right now, if we were in the Tigers' position or Cleveland's and we had a chance to make a push, I'd feel a little bit better. To me, it's just a number. But I might feel a little bit better once I get time to reflect."
Dozier connected on a solo blast to left off left-hander Daniel Norris in the third to tie the game at 1. The homer, which left the bat at 97 mph and went a projected 358 feet from home plate per Statcast™, also extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games.
Dozier became the first Twins player to reach the 40-homer plateau since Killebrew in 1970. Killebrew accomplished the feat seven times with the Twins and once with the Senators. Sievers hit 42 in '57.
Dozier also became the second player in the Majors to reach 40 homers this year, and he's one behind Baltimore's Mark Trumbo for the MLB lead. Killebrew was the last Twins player to lead the Majors in homers, last coming in 1969.
Of Dozier's 40 homers, 38 have come while playing second base, with two coming as a designated hitter. The Major League record for homers by a player who primarily played second base is 43, set by Davey Johnson for the Braves in 1973. Johnson and Rogers Hornsby share the record of 42 homers while playing second base.
Dozier has 23 homers over his last 41 games, including eight in 11 games in September. It broke a homerless streak of four games, causing right-hander Ervin Santana to joke that it took him too long in between homers.
"It's impressive, but I was like, 'About time,'" Santana said with a smile. "But it's fun."