Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier leads the American League in extra base hits and runs scored. He also leads all second baseman in home runs and runs batted in so naturally a lot of fans would feel like he got snubbed by not getting chosen to represent the Twins at the All-Star Game.
With a Final Vote campaign now ahead of him, Dozier gave fans a big reason to give him the last American League roster spot by launching a walk-off home run in the 10th inning Monday night, just hours after the ballot’s release, against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Twins had jumped out to a 2-1 lead after just two innings but the bats went silent and Minnesota recorded just two hits between the third and ninth inning. Shortstop Danny Santana hit a one out single in the bottom of the 10th before Dozier launched a no-doubt rocket to left field off of Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter.
There is no better way for a player to start off a Final Vote campaign, especially when that player already has the credentials of Dozier. As teams and fans are preparing for their yearly social media campaigns, the 28-year-old second baseman let his bat do the talking for him while continuing to build on an impressive 2015 season.
Dozier might be worthy of a roster spot in the All-Star Game but the rest of the Final Vote candidates will all have strong cases as well. His competition includes Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakes and Detroit Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
This win carries a bigger meaning for Minnesota then simply who gets into the All-Star Game. The Twins entered tonight tied with the Orioles for the second wild card spot in the American League, but they now hold a one game lead after winning the first game of a very important series.
Kyle Gibson (6-6, 3.04) will be on the mound for Minnesota tomorrow night as the Twins will look to extend their lead in the wild card race even more. The Orioles will counter with 24-year-old Kevin Gausman (1-0, 3.09) who will be making just his third start of the season.