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Postgame: Dozier cleared to return to lineup

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • July 31, 2013 - 1:45 AM

A couple of leftovers from an ugly start to the Twins' weeklong homestand:

-- Brian Dozier was examined by Twins physician Dr. John Steubs on Tuesday night, and he confirmed what an MRI showed earlier in the day: There's no damage to his knee. Dozier relayed the news to Ron Gardenhire during the game, and "we'll find out when we get to the ballpark in the morning" whether he's ready to play. Steubs will work with Dozier Wednesday to help keep the soreness from returning, Gardenhire said, after the second baseman missed Tuesday's game with a sore knee and back, the result of an awkward lunge to the base in Seattle.

-- Justin Morneau left Target Field about 15 minutes after Tuesday's game, a rarity for the slugger who normally works out in the weight room after every game. First time I've ever seen him leave so quickly, actually. I'm guessing he's tired of talking about the trade deadline, and didn't want to discuss whether Tuesday's loss was his final game in a Twins uniform. Sources around the team indicate there's little in the works, trade-wise, though that could obviously change with one phone call. Morneau has been remarkably candid about his preference to remain with the Twins, even when his contract expires in November, so he must be counting the hours until tomorrow's 3 p.m. deadline.

-- Rough night for Brian Duensing, who had slowly trimmed almost a full run off his ERA over the past three weeks (from 5.06 on July 7 to 4.19 entering today), then gave most of it back with a bad inning of work. He allowed a line-drive home run by Mike Moustakas that curled around the right-field foul pole, then gave up three straight hits to open the ninth. When two of the runners scored, Duensing's ERA was back to 4.76, higher than it's been since July 10.

-- Ryan Pressley, on the other hand, changed his fortunes with an impressive nine-up-nine-down three-inning stint. He had surrendered runs in each of his last five outings, and nine of his last 11, so he needed a shutdown game like this one. "ive pitched in a bit of bad luck the last few outings, so it felt good to go out there and throw up some zeroes," said Pressly, whose ERA fell from 3.40 to 3.20 on Tuesday. "My stuff's been good. It's just been broken-bat hits, me missing my spots. Baseball's a funny game."

-- The Twins contained Billy Butler for a change. Butler went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, snapping an 18-game hitting streak against the Twins.

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