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With Twins' struggles, Dozier can't enjoy career year

Slugger one HR shy of setting record for AL second basemen with 40
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is having the offensive season of a lifetime. His fifth-inning single in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Mets at Citi Field extended his hitting streak to 22 games in a row.

Dozier's next homer will be his 40th of the season as a second baseman and will set the American League record for that position. The overall mark at the second sack is 42, set by Rogers Hornsby for the Cardinals in 1922 and matched by Davey Johnson for the Braves in '73.

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NEW YORK -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is having the offensive season of a lifetime. His fifth-inning single in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Mets at Citi Field extended his hitting streak to 22 games in a row.

Dozier's next homer will be his 40th of the season as a second baseman and will set the American League record for that position. The overall mark at the second sack is 42, set by Rogers Hornsby for the Cardinals in 1922 and matched by Davey Johnson for the Braves in '73.

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Yet the backdrop is that the Twins were swept by the Mets in their three-game weekend series and lost their 95th game on Sunday. 

"It doesn't really sit very well, I can tell you that," the 29-year-old Dozier said about the hitting streak. "It is what it is. I couldn't care less, to be honest with you. We didn't get enough of them today. So that's pretty much it."

An eighth-round pick by the Twins in the 2009 Draft, Dozier is finishing his fifth Major League season. He's a .248 lifetime hitter. His stats, though, have been building over the course of the years, but never has he compiled anything like this: A slash line of .280/.353/.573 with an OPS of .931, 41 homers, 98 RBIs, 99 runs scored and 161 hits.

This should be the best of times. But it isn't.

"I can tell you this: You don't step between the lines and try to accomplish personal records by any means," Dozier said. "I truly mean that. If you come to the ballpark trying to win a game, everything else takes care of itself. We're not winning games. We're not having even a remotely decent season."

Baseball, like anything in life, can be a source of joy or tribulation. In a strange and fascinating way, Dozier's season is a mixture of both.

"I think it's been pretty special, really," said Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, Sunday's starter. "[Dozier is] handling it very well, because obviously nobody wants to talk about the success they've had when the team isn't playing well. That's something I've admired about him, because he's a great teammate.

"He shows up every day ready to play hard, and he does play hard. He's a big reason why we're not losing 120 games."

The Twins still have 12 games left to play entering the off-day.

"There's a lot of ways to get better," Dozier said. "My job is to lead a lot of these other guys. There are a lot of different categories. Maybe I could have done a better job in that category.

"There's a lot of young guys in here. You take these games down the stretch playing teams like the Mets, Detroit and Cleveland -- those guys that have a chance to get in the postseason -- and see the way they're playing. Hopefully we can build on that going into next year."

Hopefully next year, Dozier's accomplishments will mesh with the team.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Minnesota Twins, Brian Dozier