One crack of a swing has given the Minnesota Twins a chance to retake the division lead.
It was the top of the eighth inning when the Twins were tied with Indians at two Saturday in Cleveland, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier came up clutch in his at bat. Ahead in the count 2-1, he jacked a swing to left field to retake the game’s lead 3-2. With back-to-back wins in Cleveland the Twins are within a half game back from division which will make Sundays afternoon game a showdown in the American League Central.
What a difference a week makes as last week the Twins, for the first time in over a month, lost control of the AL Central when they were swept by the Cleveland Indians at Target Field in a four-game series from June 16-18 with a doubleheader last Saturday: losing 8-1, 9-3, 6-2 and 5-2, respectively.
Since then the Twins won back-to-back games against the White Sox, winning 9-7 Tuesday, when Kennys Vargas hit the third farthest home run in Target Field history at 475 feet, and defeated the Sox 5-2 the following day before getting shutout 9-0 in the last of the three game series.
Friday the Twins traveled down to Cleveland to face the team that just swept them on Father’s Day. Coming in with a 20-9 road record, the Twins found a way to take care of business like they have seemed to all season while playing on the road. Twins managed to shutout Indians 5-0. Dozier went 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI’s to lead the Twins to victory.
“Everything is fine right now,” Dozier told Fox Sports North after winning Friday against Indians. “Obviously, we’ve been winning pretty well on the road this year [and] we started off pretty well tonight…we got to win tomorrow, that’s the only thing we’re focused on right now. Cleveland, a heck of a ball club and a chance to win the series tomorrow.”
Dozier’s clutch home run Saturday helped the Twins go on to win 4-2, winning the series and putting the Twins in position to take control of the AL Central if they sweep the Indians Sunday.
Twins hold a record of 38-34 with a 22-9 road record.
By Gino Terrell