Brian Dozier didn’t hit a home run, but by stealing two bases, he moved into a tie for the major-league lead in steals percentage. Dozier is 18 for 20 this season, a 90.0 percent success rate that ties him with Arizona utility man Chris Owings (also 18 of 20), among players with 15 steal attempts.
Dozier stole second base twice on Tuesday — he’s been successful on 10 straight steal attempts — and that’s a feat all the more impressive given that Gold Glove catcher Salvador Perez was behind the plate for the Royals. Coming into the game, Perez had thrown out exactly half of the 72 base-runners who ran on him; his 36 putouts are the most in the American League.
Dozier, though, has something that few players can match: 42 home runs. Should he avoid being thrown out stealing over the season’s final five days, Dozier would join Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey and Albert Belle as the only major leaguers since 1950 to hit 40 home runs and succeed on 90 percent of his steal attempts in the same season (minimum 10 steals). Not bad company.
Raul Mondesi’s steal of second base in the 11th inning may have been the biggest play of the game, and it was a little annoying to Twins manager Paul Molitor. Mondesi faked catcher Kurt Suzuki with a delayed steal, and by the time Suzuki realized he was going, it was far too late to throw him out.
“They’ve victimized us a lot this year with the delayed steal. The pitch was borderline, so Kurt was trying to hold it a fraction of a second,” Molitor said. “We talked about it [before the game], but they execute the delay. Early in the count, a bunt situation, your catcher’s just trying to get a strike.”
Despite facing 18 hitters on Tuesday, Jose Berrios didn’t strike out any of them, and that’s a real rarity. In fact, it was only the third time in 112 career games, major or minor league, that he hadn’t whiffed anybody, and the first time since he’s been a Twin.
Berrios said he didn’t mind the oddity, that outs are more important than strikeouts, but it still had to feel strange to him. It snapped a string of 61 consecutive starts, dating back to July 29, 2014 when he was with the Class AA New Britain Rock Cats, with at least one strikeout.