Brian Dozier was asleep by 12:30 a.m. last night, “just exhausted,” he said by a long day and a thrilling night. He didn’t watch SportsCenter, where his walk-off home run was the lead story, and he didn’t try to answer all the text messages that flooded his phone. “It’s a new day. Another game today,” Dozier said, putting his ninth-inning heroics behind him. “No time to stop.”
Among the 31,000-plus in Target Field on Friday, he was probably one of the few who was able to sleep right away, because that was a night that triggered plenty of adrenalin in fans and players alike. A seven-run ninth inning, the most the Twins have ever scored in the ninth, wiped away a 6-1 Tigers victory, and Dozier’s big homer off Joakim Soria will stand as one of the most memorable moments of the season.
By coincidence, it was the franchise’s 1,000th victory over Detroit, counting the 60 seasons in Washington as the Senators.
Do the Twins still feel the thrill of that win? “I think we do,” manager Paul Molitor said. “You can never guarantee that an incredible finish will influence the next game, but subconsciously, heading into today’s game and not [being] 0-2 in there series and not being 2-9 [on the season against Detroit], it kind of lightens the burden a little bit.”
Then again, Molitor added, “You’re as good as your next starting pitcher, as far as momentum.”
Well, good news on that front: Phil Hughes is pitching today on, by coincidence, Phil Hughes bobblehead day. Not only has Hughes won three straight decisions, but today is the second time this season that Hughes has pitched on a day that his bobblehead was distributed — the Twins held a “May the Fourth Be With You” promotion on May 4, giving away a limited number of Star Wars-themed figures that featured Hughes — and he had a good day the last time. Hughes pitched six innings against the A’s, and though he gave up five runs, he walked away with his first win of the season, sending Twins fans home happy whether they got a bobblehead or not.
The Tigers, meanwhile, have responded to their bullpen meltdown by adding a pitcher the Twins pursued, Neftali Feliz, to their bullpen. He’s already here and in uniform. Oddly, it’s the third Rangers closer in a row who has ended up in Detroit: Joe Nathan, Soria, and now Feliz.
Here are the lineups for today’s 3:05 game, being televised by Fox Sports One:
V. Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF