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: Dozier impresses in MLB debut; Willingham, Casilla updates

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: May 8, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Before making his major league debut Monday, Twins shortstop Brian Dozier got the chance to meet Albert Pujols.

“[Danny] Valencia called me over because he’s friends with him,” Dozier said. “[Pujols] told me 'It’s the same game. Keep doing what you’re doing.' And then when I got on first [after an eighth inning single], he said, ‘Congratulations. You look good up there. First of many.’

"So it was good to hear that.”

Dozier finished 1-for-4, including a line out to center field in his second at-bat. Defensively, he made all the plays, including a nifty spinning play to steal a potential hit up the middle from Mark Trumbo in the eighth inning.

“I was happy for the young man,” Manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He wasn’t overwhelmed. Faced a really good pitcher out there [in Jered Weaver] and wasn’t overwhelmed at all. Did a really nice job. Good for him.”

* Jamey Carroll took Dozier under his wing in spring training and continued mentoring him Monday. Never mind that Dozier’s arrival meant Carroll had to go back to a utility role.

“Obviously he’s a kid that has a lot of ability,” Carroll said. “Very level headed, willing to pay attention and watch. I think that’s a good sign for a young kid -- who has all the ability and has some awards in his pocket from the minor leagues -- to still sit back and watch and pay attention.

“It shows you the type of kid he is. It shows you what I think is going to make him successful at this level.”

* Gardenhire sounded confident that Josh Willingham will be ready to return to the lineup Tuesday. The manager wasn’t so sure about Alexi Casilla, who had a hard time swinging during the game with his injured right shoulder.

* It'll be Scott Diamond vs. Dan Haren in Game 2 of this series. Check back here for the starting lineup.

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