MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier reached a rare milestone Wednesday night against Cleveland when he followed up a sharp single with a stolen base in the first inning.
The steal was his 20th of the season, to go along with his 20 home runs, Dozier became the first player in the American League this season to reach the 20/20 plateau.
"It's cool," Dozier said. "It's a great achievement. It's awesome, I'm pretty blessed and very thankful for it and everything, but if you're not winning games, it doesn't really taste as good at the end of the day."
The Twins lost the game 5-0 Wednesday, their 70th loss of the season. Minnesota is on pace for its fourth straight 90-plus loss season, but Dozier has been a bright spot this season for the Twins and has established himself as a franchise cornerstone moving forward. In addition to his 20/20 pedigree, Dozier has also provided Gold Glove-caliber defense at second base.
"It goes a little bit unnoticed but not by the people in the this clubhouse," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "It's a great thing, a hell of a year for him already."
Dozier's accomplishment is special in the annals of Twins history as well, as he became only the sixth player in franchise history to reach 20/20, following Larry Hisle, Kirby Puckett, Marty Cordova, Corey Koskie and Torii Hunter, who is the only person here to do it twice. He also became the first second baseman to do it in franchise history.
Dozier has credited Twins hitting coach Tom Brunansky for helping to develop his lower legs, which has helped his power stroke.
"I've always been someone who could steal bases," Dozier said. "The power has only come recently."
He's also quick to credit coach Paul Molitor with helping to refine his base-stealing ability. Molitor, one of the best hitters and base-runners in baseball history, has helped many in the organization become better base-runners since he was brought on staff a decade ago.
"The information that I'm given before games (from Molitor and third base coach Joe Vavra) it's kind of transformed everything," Dozier said. "It takes me into what was in Molitor's head every time he was on the base paths. Just the amount of time, the tendencies, every little tidbit, all the information, it's helped a lot."
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Tigers (LHP Robbie Ray, 1-3, 5.33 ERA) at Twins (LHP Tommy Milone, 6-4, 3.99 ERA)
--3B Trevor Plouffe's double was his 33rd of the season, moving him into a tie for eighth in all of baseball in that category. His 60 RBIs are seven more than any other Twin this season.
--DH Kennys Vargas' homer was his fourth in 19 games in the majors this season. He has 17 RBIs in that span. "He's just trying to put the barrel on the ball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's not hit it this way or hit it that way, he's a strong kid, I think when he's up there hitting, his goal is to just put the barrel on it. Whether it's to left field, right field or center, that's what he does."
--RHP Phil Hughes won his 14th game of the season Thursday, becoming the first Twins pitcher since 2010 to reach 14 wins in a season (Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano). He has won each of his last four starts, and has a 1.32 ERA with 30 strikeouts and two walks over that span.
--SS Danny Santana went 2-for-4 and is now hitting .394 in 10 games against Cleveland this season. He is hitting .339 with four extra-base hits since Aug. 8. His .449 average in day games this season is the best in the majors.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'd be lying to you if I said that was one of my goals at the beginning of the year." --Twins 2B Brian Dozier said about reaching the 20/20 plateau Wednesday against the Indians.
--RHP Mike Pelfrey (strained left groin, right elbow surgery in June 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 2, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 19. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on May 16. He returned from Rochester on May 28 after experiencing elbow soreness. He underwent surgery June 10 to clean up scar tissue in his right elbow that was causing pressure on his ulnar nerve. He began a throwing program in late July, but he will not return to action this season.
RHP Phil Hughes
RHP Kyle Gibson
RHP Ricky Nolasco
RHP Trevor May
LHP Tommy Milone
LHP Glen Perkins (closer)
LHP Caleb Thielbar
RHP Anthony Swarzak
LHP Brian Duensing
RHP Casey Fien
RHP Jared Burton
RHP Sam Deduno
RHP Ryan Pressly
1B Joe Mauer
2B Brian Dozier
SS Eduardo Nunez
3B Trevor Plouffe
DH Kennys Vargas
INF Eduardo Escobar
LF Jordan Schafer
CF Danny Santana
RF Oswaldo Arcia
OF/INF Chris Parmelee
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