Bill Baer

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 11: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to being called out on strikes against the Cleveland Indians during the fourth inning of the game on September 11, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 7-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Brian Dozier sets AL record for second basemen with 40th home run


Last week, Twins slugger Brian Dozier tied the American League record for home runs in a single season by a second baseman by hitting his 39th dinger of the 2016 campaign. He tied Alfonso Soriano, who hit 39 with the Yankees in 2002.

Dozier broke that tie in the third inning on Monday, hitting a solo home run off of Tigers starter Daniel Norris to tie the game at 1-1. He’s the first second baseman to hit 40 home runs in a season since Ryne Sandberg hit 40 for the Cubs in 1990. Rogers Hornsby and Davey Johnson hold the all-time single-season record for home runs by a second baseman at 42, a record which Dozier seems certain to obtain by season’s end.

Dozier is the first Twin with a 40-homer season since Harmon Killebrew had a nice season in 1969. Killebrew, in fact, had eight of the Twins’ 10 40-homer seasons. Dozier and Roy Sievers (42, 1957) have the other two.

The 29-year-old Dozier entered Monday’s action batting .277/.348/.571. While Mike Trout is running away in the American League when it comes to WAR, it will be interesting to see where Dozier ends up in MVP voting, particularly relative to Jose Altuve.

Video: Mat Latos smacks his fourth career home run

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 11:  Mat Latos #38 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 11, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
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In Monday’s preview, I highlighted Mat Latos making his starting debut with the Nationals. He’s had a rough year, but now finds himself on a first-place team poised to try to make some noise in the postseason. That being said, I didn’t think the game would be appointment television.

Boy was I wrong. Latos smacked his fourth career home run, a solo shot in the bottom of the second inning against Mets starter Rafael Montero. Montero threw a 3-2 belt-high fastball and Latos was all over it, sending it with gusto over the fence in left-center field.

Here’s the video.

Latos last homered as a member of the Reds on August 3, 2012 against the Pirates. He victimized Wandy Rodriguez for a two-run shot then.

Danny Salazar to miss three to four weeks with a mild flexor strain

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 04: Danny Salazar #31 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Miami Marlins in the first inning of their interleague game at Progressive Field on September 4, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Marlins 6-5.  (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
David Maxwell/Getty Images
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Indians starter Danny Salazar was diagnosed with a mild strain to his flexor musculature after undergoing an MRI in Cleveland on Monday, the club announced. The right-hander will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection tomorrow. He’ll be shut down from throwing for 10 days and won’t return to action for at least three to four weeks.

Salazar, 26, left Friday’s start against the Twins after four innings as he felt tightness in his right forearm. There was some concern that his ulnar collateral ligament could have been compromised, which might’ve meant Tommy John surgery. The Indians and Salazar both breathed a sigh of relief, I’m sure.

Overall, Salazar has had a good season for the Indians, but after making the All-Star team, he’s had a rough second half. His splits:

  • First half: 10-3, 2.75 ERA, 118/46 K/BB ratio, 9 HR allowed (104 2/3 innings)
  • Second half: 1-3, 7.44 ERA, 43/17 K/BB ratio, 7 HR allowed (32 2/3 innings)

If things go smoothly from here, it sounds like Salazar could rejoin the Indians in time for the postseason. The club holds a seven-game lead over the Tigers for first place in the AL Central.