Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: Last out dangerous, but Arcia was there

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: June 20, 2013 - 8:54 PM

The way the ball was flying out of Target Field on Thursday -- six combined home runs, by the 13th- and 14-best home-run hitting teams in the American League -- you could be excused for gasping when Alex Rios connected with a Jared Burton fastball with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning.

The ball sailed to deep left field, and looked for a moment like it might land in the seats for a game-tying grand slam. But Oswaldo Arcia was playing unusually deep -- the "no-doubles" defense -- and made the play with no problem.

Not that anyone was worried.

"I didn't think he got it. It made that funny sound off the bat, sounded like off the end of the bat to me. I thought Arcia, as long as it didn't get too high, he might see it," Gardenhire said with a smile. "Hell of a defensive move by me. The ball fell in his glove and ended the game."

-- Brian Dozier had batted only .241 as the Twins' leadoff hitter, with a terrible .295 on-base percentage. But he's a different hitter against lefthanded pitching, hitting .289 with a Joe Mauer-like .381 on-base percentage. (OK, Joe's actually even better than that. But .381 is excellent.)

Trouble is, the Twins have faced the fewest number of lefthanded starters in the majors. "Righty or lefty, it's more a matter of getting good pitches to hit. And then, don't miss them," Dozier said.

But he enjoys being in the leadoff spot again, no question. "That's huge. It's where I always felt comfortable," he said. 'I know, personally, that I can be a No. 1 or 2 hitter. I just can't be as streaky as I've been. My main focus is being more consistent, taking better swings, and be aggressive on every pitch."

Must be working. As everyone in Minnesota expected, he now has twice as many home runs as Justin Morneau.

"We've been joking about that. We kid him about the numbers," Dozier said of Morneau, who has three home runs this season, to Dozier's six. "But he'll fly past me pretty quick here."

-- Dozier made a great diving stop of an Adam Dunn liner, but it wasn't the day's defensive highlight. The ballboy down the left-field line made a leaping catch of a hot smash headed into the stands, a play so impressive, it was replayed on the Target Field scoreboard and a clip was available on the Twins' website.

-- La Velle Neal III is with the Twins on their LeBron James road trip -- they start in Cleveland, then take their talents to South Beach -- so check his blog, Twins Insider, for news every day, and follow him on Twitter: @lavelleneal. And if you're in Miami, watch for him at the city's finest cigar bars.
 

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