Brian Dozier looked at the lineup card posted in the Twins clubhouse Sunday, then rolled up his right sleeve to expose his biceps.
“You all look out, now,” he said.
Dozier was batting leadoff, where he likes to hit, and was the designated hitter. So he had to get in character.
He laced a double to left in his first at-bat. Later, he mashed two solo home runs. That’s acting like a DH, all right.
“I saw the ball well today,” Dozier said. “We scored some runs. It was a good day.”
His day helped the otherwise sloppy Twins hold off the White Sox 6-4 at Target Field and take two of the three in the series. Kennys Vargas was 2-for-2 with a home run as well. Righthander Ervin Santana (4-9) gave up one earned run over six innings to lower his ERA to 3.66. He posted a 1.90 ERA in July.
Speaking of July, the Twins finished the month 15-11, by far their best of the season.
But it was hard for manager Paul Molitor to enjoy the victory. He’s had trouble savoring many of his team’s recent wins, actually. There have been mistakes made along the way that he wants cleaned up, and the Twins committed a season-high four errors Sunday, leading to three unearned runs.
Shortstop Eduardo Escobar, third baseman Miguel Sano and center fielder Eddie Rosario committed throwing errors, and second baseman Jorge Polanco botched a grounder in the eighth. And Escobar benefited from the judgment of the official scorer on a ground ball later in the eighth that was ruled a hit.
The four errors are the Twins’ most in a game since Sept. 20, 2013, at Oakland. The last time they made four errors and won came Oct. 1, 2009, at Detroit.
“It’s a little painful when you have that much difficulty,” Molitor said. “We all know that physical errors are part of the game, but some of it is poise-related, I believe, as far as people understanding the speed of the ball and where your other infielders are. Sometimes we get tunnel vision. We didn’t pick up our pitching. We made it tough on Ervin.”
Santana threw 97 pitches in six innings, largely because of extended innings that resulted from the Twins’ poor fielding.
Luckily for the Twins, their hitting gave Santana an early lead. They knocked the rust off Chicago lefthander Carlos Rodon, who was making his first start since coming off the disabled list (sprained left wrist).
Dozier led off the first with a double to left-center. He went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Robbie Grossman reached on an infield hit. Two batters later, Vargas clubbed a home run to center, and the Twins led 3-0.
The teams each scored a run in the third, then the White Sox scored twice in the fourth to get within 4-3. Sano’s error with two outs put two runners on. Omar Narvaez singled to center to drive in one run, then Rosario’s wild throw to third enabled a second run to score.
That’s when Dozier provided some cushion. He hit a 421-foot homer in the fifth that struck the facing of the third deck, then blasted a 387-foot shot to left-center in the seventh.
Dozier has 19 home runs on the season, 14 coming in his past 52 games. He’s batting .307 during that span.
“After my second homer,” Dozier said, “Mollie said to me, ‘I’ve been looking for a DH.’ ”