MINNEAPOLIS — Brian Dozier has been everywhere for the Minnesota Twins during a breakout season for the sweet-swinging, slick-fielding second baseman.
So it was no surprise that he had his fingerprints all over an eventful ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox.
Dozier started a superb double play in the top of the inning that snuffed out Chicago’s chances of taking the lead and then delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the frame to lift the Twins to a 5-4 victory Friday night.
“The walk-off hit, it is what it is, but that’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while, to be honest with you,” Dozier said of his defensive gem.
The White Sox had already scored twice off closer Glen Perkins (3-0) to tie the game, and manager Ron Gardenhire decided to walk Gordon Beckham to load the bases with one out. Conor Gillaspie sent a high chopper in Dozier’s direction, and he had to make a split-second decision whether to come home with the throw or try to start the double play. He zipped a throw to shortstop Danny Santana, who fired a laser to Joe Mauer at first base that ended the inning.
“Hats off to Danny,” Dozier said. “If he doesn’t have an AK-47 attached to his body, we probably don’t turn the double play.”
Kurt Suzuki had three hits and an RBI and the Twins picked up Perkins, who blew his third save in 21 chances.
In the bottom of the ninth, Daniel Webb (4-1) walked Eduardo Escobar and Sam Fuld with one out and Escobar beat the throw home with a beautiful slide to win it. The play was confirmed upon review.
“I thought there was no way he made the plate because I felt his hand on my cleat,” White Sox catcher Adrian Nieto said “The replay showed he reached back with his right hand. So, he did a great job.”