Dozier notches 2nd straight 30-HR season

Second baseman is fifth Twins player to achieve feat

Dozier notches 2nd straight 30-HR season

MINNEAPOLIS -- With his leadoff homer in Wednesday's 16-0 win over the Padres, Brian Dozier became the fifth Twins player to hit 30 homers in consecutive seasons and the first Major League second baseman to do it since Dan Uggla from 2007-11.

Dozier joined Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Gary Gaetti and Justin Morneau as the only Minnesota players to hit 30 homers in consecutive seasons. The only other second basemen to accomplish the feat are Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg (1989-90), Alfonso Soriano (2002-03), Chase Utley (2008-09) and Uggla.

"After last year, people asked if that's it, 42, so for him to bounce back and hit 30, his steadiness is there," manager Paul Molitor said. "He's going to have a chance to post 100 runs from the leadoff spot. You just can't ask for much more."

Dozier also had a chance to hit for the cycle after tripling in the third and singling in the fifth, but was hit by a pitch in his final plate appearance in the seventh before being removed for a pinch-runner.

Dozier hustles for a triple

"They were all making fun of me in the dugout," Dozier said. "I know the fans wanted to see me do it. But I couldn't care less if it happened. It was a fun night."

Dozier, who hit a career-high 42 homers last year, smacked a 2-0 fastball from Padres left-hander Travis Wood to right field for his 30th homer of the season and his fourth opposite-field shot to right field. It left the bat at 99 mph and went a projected 368 feet, per Statcast™.

Additionally, it was Dozier's eighth leadoff homer of the year, and the 27th of his career, which extends his Twins single-season record.

It was also a good sign from Dozier, who has continued to improve hitting the ball the other way. Dozier hit .246 with one homer, five doubles and two triples to the opposite field last year. This season, Dozier is hitting .359 with four homers, eight doubles and four triples to right field.

The Twins became the first team in MLB history to homer in seven straight innings to start a game, which began with Dozier in the first.

"Brian kind of set the tone," Molitor said. "He doesn't go oppo too often, but he got us going when he smoked that ball."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.