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Dozier held out of lineup for 2nd straight day

Second baseman dealing with back spasms, expects to return Wednesday
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier was held out of the lineup for a second straight game with lower back spasms on Tuesday, but he's expected to return on Wednesday.

Dozier, who was a late scratch from the lineup on Monday, texted manager Paul Molitor early Tuesday that he was feeling better. But with a quick turnaround for Independence Day, Twins manager Paul Molitor met with Dozier before the game and decided to be cautious.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier was held out of the lineup for a second straight game with lower back spasms on Tuesday, but he's expected to return on Wednesday.

Dozier, who was a late scratch from the lineup on Monday, texted manager Paul Molitor early Tuesday that he was feeling better. But with a quick turnaround for Independence Day, Twins manager Paul Molitor met with Dozier before the game and decided to be cautious.

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"Brian texted this morning and said he was feeling better, which is encouraging, and I think any time you get a text that early, he's hoping to play," Molitor said. "I thought about it and talked to him a little bit. I don't see a need to rush him back out there today. We want to get him back to where he's 100 percent. And not just feeling better."

One factor is that Dozier played through injury earlier this season, when he missed three games in early May with a sprained left ankle. The injury continued to linger a bit after he returned, which Molitor believes affected Dozier's performance.

"Guys play a little banged up," Molitor said. "And I agree on the ankle thing that it hurt him offensively for a while, because he didn't have a stable frontside and those kinds of things. That's part of the game to figure out how to still compete and contribute when you're not 100 percent. But he's a guy who has learned how to play on an almost everyday basis, because he takes care of himself and is willing to play when he's not totally perfect."

As Molitor noted, Dozier has been an almost constant presence over the last five seasons, playing in 156 games in 2014, 157 in '15 and 155 last year. With Dozier out, Eduardo Escobar started at second for a second straight day.

Worth noting

• Left-hander Glen Perkins has yet to resume throwing off a mound since suffering a strained biceps while trying to rehab his surgically repaired left shoulder. Perkins received a cortisone shot and has been playing catch without any issues, but the next step will be returning to the mound.

• Left-hander Craig Breslow, on the DL with left rib soreness, threw a simulated game on Monday without any issues. The Twins are still working on a plan for him to face hitters.

• Infielder Ehire Adrianza was immediately placed in the starting lineup after being activated from the 10-day disabled list. Adrianza, who lost 10 pounds because of a stomach ailment, started at shortstop to give rookie Jorge Polanco a much-needed break.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Brian Dozier