Funny how functional the Twins’ offense looks when the players who are supposed to hit actually hit.
The Twins hit three home runs Wednesday, including ones by Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano, to fuel a 7-5 victory over Kansas City at Target Field. It was only the second time this month they have scored more than six runs in a game.
Dozier was not in the starting lineup Monday or Tuesday and was supposed to be on the bench again. But Twins manager Paul Molitor liked how Dozier looked at the plate in a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday and decided to give him a chance. Dozier responded in the first inning with a blast over the left-field wall for a home run that made it 2-0. It followed Eduardo Nunez’s leadoff homer, giving the Twins leadoff back-to-back home runs for the first time since June 9, 2014.
Dozier struck out twice and lined out in his other three at-bats, but Molitor liked that Dozier, who homered for the first time in 50 plate appearances — wasn’t trying to pull everything.
“I thought that his overall approach [was good],” Molitor said. “He’s trying to implement some of the things he knows he needs to do.”
Sano struck out in the first inning — he entered the game with a league-high 66 strikeouts — and took a slow walk back to the dugout. Two at-bats later, he drilled a 1-0 pitch from Dillon Gee an estimated 428 feet into the second deck in left field for a two-run homer to give the Twins a 6-5 lead in the fifth.
“I thought they were going to bring the reliever in but they didn’t,” Sano said. “I kind of made them pay for it in that aspect because they should have done what they were going to do, but instead they left him there and I took him deep.”
Molitor pointed out that Sano hasn’t met some lofty preseason expectations yet, but he still sees a lot of reasons to keep him in the lineup.
“I think he’s got the makeup to get through this thing,” Molitor said.
The Twins called up lefty Buddy Boshers from Class AAA Rochester to prop up a bullpen that has pitched the second-most innings in the American League.
Boshers was a nonroster invite to spring training but was sent to Rochester on March 23. He has been effective for the Red Wings, going 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 15 appearances.
Boshers — pronounced bo-SHEERS — worked with Eddie Guardado and LaTroy Hawkins during camp to improve his changeup, and he’s gained confidence using it.
“My job is to come up here, eat innings and put up zeros,” Boshers said. “Hopefully, I can contribute in that kind of way and turn something around and get going.”
What the Twins need most from him is innings. Boshers has pitched 1 ⅔ innings three times, two innings once and three innings once. That relief endurance factored into the decision to bring Boshers up for his first stint in the majors since 2013.
“Not a lot of guys can go day after day after day,” Molitor said. “It just gives us a little more depth.”
To make room for Boshers on the 40-man roster, the Twins moved closer Glen Perkins from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Outfielder Darin Mastroianni landed on the 15-day DL because of a strained left oblique muscle, clearing the way for Boshers to join the team. Mastroianni has battled increasing soreness in the area the past few days. So the Twins decided to rest him for a while.
“I don’t know what caused it,” he said. “… On Monday it just doesn’t feel right. I couldn’t really go.”
Mastroianni went 0-for-9 with the Twins since being called up from Rochester on May 6.