It was a different type of weekend for Brian Dozier and Gleyber Torres.
Dozier will try to keep his streak alive while Torres will appear in his second major league game with the Yankees in the opener of a four-game series Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
Dozier owns the longest active streak in baseball and broke the Minnesota record (since 1961) set by Josh Willingham (2012) and Kirby Puckett (1994) for the longest streak to start a season when he went 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
“He has just been steady,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told reporters. “He’s not giving away any at-bats. We don’t have a lot of guys swinging the bat that well, but he is doing the job.”
Dozier’s latest hits, however, occurred during an 8-6 loss decided when Addison Reed allowed a two-run game-winning homer to Carlos Gomez in the ninth inning.
While Dozier is hitting .310 (22-for-71) this season and owns a 23-game hitting streak dating back to Sept. 22, the Twins are only 8-8. They have lost four of five with two walk-off losses and the one win coming in the 15th inning on Wednesday in Puerto Rico.
“We’re heading into a tough environment to play for four days,” Molitor told reporters. “I think we’ve got enough leadership in there that we’ll bounce back. Hopefully we can keep scoring.”
Molitor is hoping to avoid things like getting outscored 26-14 and seeing his relievers allowed 15 runs and 20 hits in 10 innings.
Torres, who is New York’s top prospect, joined the Yankees for Sunday’s 5-1 win. He received a standing ovation before his first at-bat and was 0-for-4.
“There’s a lot going on, but it’s very precise,” said Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who also compared Torres to Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez. “He’s got some cool action in there and there’s some pop at the end. He’s going to be good, man. He is good already.”
Torres joined the Yankee system as the centerpiece of the 2016 trade that sent current closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs. He underwent Tommy John surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his left (nonthrowing) elbow last June but recovered quickly and was batting .347 with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre before getting the call to join the Yankees.
Torres can play every infield position but first base and will be the second baseman for the foreseeable future, especially with third baseman Miguel Andujar’s recent showings. Andujar went 4-for-4 Sunday and is hitting .542 (13-for-24) with 10 extra-base hits and seven RBIs in his last six games.
“We feel like he’s a legitimate defender at all three spots,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, whose second baseman combined for a .601 OPS before Torres joined the team. “Generally speaking, the plan (right now) is for him to be a second baseman.”
New York’s Masahiro Tanaka will attempt to rebound from a pair of shaky starts against the Boston Red Sox and Miami Marlins. Tanaka has allowed 12 earned runs on 15 hits spanning 10 innings in his last two starts.
Tanaka allowed 35 homers last season and has allowed at least one homer in four straight starts. The only time he allowed at least one homer in five straight outings occurred during his rookie season from June 5-28, 2014.
Tanaka is 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA against the Twins, who have yet to homer off him in 29 innings. Despite his success against Minnesota, Dozier (5-for-14) and Eduardo Escobar (6-for-13) have done well off the right-hander.
Jake Odorizzi will make his fifth start for the Twins and is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He also is coming off his worst outing of the season when he allowed four runs and six hits in five innings in Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians in Puerto Rico.
Odorizzi owns plenty of experience against the Yankees from spending the previous five seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. He is 5-7 with a 4.31 ERA in 14 appearances (13 starts) against the Yankees.