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'Warrior' Dozier gets his first rest in five weeks

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins second baseman Brian Dozier had started 36 straight games since spraining his left ankle in early May, but that streak ended Sunday.

Cleveland Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer has held Dozier to a 4-for-32 (.125) showing, Dozier's second-lowest average against any pitcher he's faced more than 15 times. Against Kansas City Royals right-hander Chris Young he is 2 for 22 (.091).

"We'll try to back him off and get him recharged," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He's been a good warrior."

The Twins entered Sunday 2-2 with Dozier out of the lineup. Hitting .314 with a 1.034 combined on-base/slugging percentage over his past 13 games, including his 12th homer on Saturday night, Dozier has been able to overcome some initial mechanical issues in the wake of his ankle injury.

"He's actually been feeling pretty good considering how much he's played," Molitor said. "When he came back there was a little trouble just with the weight shift and all those things that are part of hitting. Subconsciously your mind protects your body. But I thought he got it going pretty well there for awhile. He's doing well overall."

Eduardo Escobar, hitting .526 (20 for 38) with a 1.339 OPS over the past two weeks, replaced Dozier at second base.

Haley's project

Twins rookie right-hander Justin Haley, who turned 26 on Friday, calls his new dog "Rawlings" the best birthday present ever.

Wife Casey arranged the purchase of the Golden Doodle — a mixed breed of a Golden Retriever and a poodle — through Kimberlee's Kennels in Decorah, Iowa. Already weighing eight pounds at eight weeks old, Rawlings is expected to grow to 75 pounds or more.

Haley, on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, used the down time to build a 6-foot-by-6-foot sod box for Rawlings on the deck of his sixth-floor condo. All it took was a few pieces of lumber, some painter's plastic, potting mulch and sod.

"He really likes it," Haley said. "Every time we walk in the door, he runs straight to that grass. He's a smart dog. It sure beats waking up at 4:30 in the morning to take him for a walk."

Rotation plans

Lefty Hector Santiago (shoulder) will head to Triple-A Rochester for a rehab outing on Wednesday after throwing a 45-pitch bullpen on Saturday with no issues.

Santiago, who would have preferred to head right back into a struggling rotation, probably wouldn't need more than one or two starts in the minors to shake off the limited rust.

Ervin Santana, who missed this pivotal series with the Cleveland Indians, is lined up to make two starts against divisional opponents this week: Tuesday at home against the Chicago White Sox and Sunday at Cleveland, site of his 2011 no-hitter and a 1-0 win in mid-May on his last visit to Progressive Field.

That leaves Jose Berrios to start Wednesday at home and then the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park on June 26.

Lefty Adalberto Mejia, who was at 85 pitches in the fifth inning when a75-minute rain delay ended his start in Saturday's nightcap, appears likely to take his next turn Thursday afternoon in the homestand finale against the White Sox.

Mejia faced them in his first two big-league starts in April, going 0-1 with a 4.05 earned run average in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits, walked five and struck out four.

Mauer's day

Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a memorable Father's Day.

It began with twin daughters, Emily and Maren, rousting him awake early on Sunday morning after a rain-marred doubleheader the night before. The girls, who turn 4 next month, then presented their dad with their traditional drawings as well as serenading him with special songs for the occasion.

Before serving as designated hitter in Sunday's game, Mauer was due to catch the ceremonial first pitch from his father Jake and both grandfathers, Big Jake Mauer and Mike Tierney. That was believed to be a career first for the 34-year-old first baseman.


Reliever Glen Perkins came through Friday's inning at an extended spring training game with no issues. His fastball velocity remained in the 85-89 mph range. ... Catcher Jason Castro turned 30 on Sunday. He has caught 5,155 innings in parts of seven big-league seasons and is throwing out a career-best 38 percent (9 of 24) attempted basestealers.