Dozier sets Twins record for leadoff homers
HOUSTON -- Minnesota second baseman James Dozier needed only two pitches to set a franchise record.
On the second pitch of Friday's series-opening 10-5 loss to Houston, Dozier clubbed his second leadoff home run this season off Astros starter Charlie Morton. The solo blast was his 21st career leadoff shot, surpassing Jacque Jones' 20 for the most in Twins history.
"Obviously, it's pretty special for him to go in the Twins' record books like that," said manager Paul Molitor.
Dozier's homer traveled an estimated 375 feet to Minute Maid Park's Crawford Boxes in left field, according to Statcast™, and began a night when he supplied most of Minnesota's offense with two of its five total hits and four RBIs.
The homer gave the Twins a brief lead before the Astros erupted for eight runs in the second inning.
"It was a nice way to give us a start," Molitor said. "I think we held the lead for about 20 minutes."
Dozier's four RBIs tied his single-game career high. He's plated four runs in eight games, previously on Sept. 5, 2016, vs. the Royals.
The Astros throttled Minnesota for 10 runs before the fourth inning, so if there was anything positive for the offense on Friday, it was Dozier and the lineup drawing nine walks, the most the Astros' pitching staff has allowed this season and tying the second-most free bases the Twins have taken in 2017.
Meanwhile, with a double in the third inning, outfielder Zack Granite knocked his first Major League hit. He stretched a routine single into a double after his chip shot to center field -- which left his bat at a exit velocity at a sluggish 60.8 mph.
"He's only got one hit, but it's good to see him taking some good at-bats," Molitor said. "It's good to see him fight that one off and get an average that wasn't zero. He's a little grinder. He brings a little fire to the game, and it's nice he's getting a little taste right now."