Dozier likely to miss finale with sore oblique

Second baseman knocking on door of multiple statistical milestones

October 2nd, 2016
Brian Dozier finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored before leaving in the seventh. (AP)

CHICAGO -- Twins second baseman left Saturday's 6-0 win over the White Sox in the seventh inning with right oblique soreness, and he is likely to be out for the season finale on Sunday, which would cost him the chance of reaching 100 RBIs and tying the record for homers hit by a player who primarily played second base.

Dozier went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, a walk and a run scored before coming out of the game. He's been in a slump down the stretch, going 2-for-34 at the plate with no homers dating back to Sept. 22. He said the injury came on his first swing of the night in the first inning against right-hander and that he came out for precautionary reasons to avoid the injury getting worse.

"I think in an earlier stage in my career I would've been playing, but I didn't want to be stupid," Dozier said. "My right side kept tightening up and I felt it on every swing. I might be from Mississippi, but I ain't dumb. I always play through injuries, but with where we're at, I didn't want to push it."

Dozier, who has 42 home runs, is one homer away from tying the Major League record for homers hit by a player who primarily played second base set by Davey Johnson in 1973. Dozier is also two away from tying the Major League record for homers by a second baseman, as two of his homers came as a designated hitter. Johnson shares the record of 42 with Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, as one of Johnson's homers in '73 came as a pinch-hitter.

Dozier, who has scored 104 runs, is one RBI away from 100. With one more RBI, he'd become the first Twins player to have 100 RBIs and 100 runs in a season since Michael Cuddyer in 2006. But Dozier said he didn't care about any of those milestones and was reluctant to talk about his season with Minnesota having lost 103 games heading into Sunday.

"Personally, I hate talking about it, but I felt like as a hitter I made strides and got better," Dozier said. "I can continue to do that. There are some things I can change and get better at in the offseason."

Dozier has yet to meet with manager Paul Molitor about the potential of playing on Sunday, but like Dozier, Molitor said it's highly unlikely he'll play again. If Dozier doesn't play, he'll finish the year hitting .268/.340/.546 with 42 homers, 35 doubles and five triples in 155 games.

"He's sore," Molitor said. "I saw in the first inning, and he took a swing and he had a little wince. It increasingly bothered him during the game and is in that oblique area. Potentially it could shut him down tomorrow. I would imagine that would be the most likely scenario, which is tough to see it end like that with how much he's played and knocking on the 100-RBI mark and those things."