Dozier off to hot start with Solar Sox
Twins shortstop 4-for-4, plates three in Mesa's loss to Surprise
Even in the Arizona Fall League, a breakout performance like the 4-for-4, three-RBI game Brian Dozier put together Thursday is sullied by a loss.
"I'm a guy that loves to win," said Dozier, a Twins infield prospect. "Stuff doesn't taste as good if you don't."
Mesa's Dozier reached base five times and scored three runs, but Solar Sox relievers coughed up a 5-0 lead in their club's 8-7 defeat to the visiting Surprise Saguaros.
The right-handed hitter saw nine pitches in his first four at-bats. He singled three times and took Saguaros starter Sean Gilmartin (Braves) deep to left field in the third inning.
"As hitters, we don't want the pitchers to work us; we want to attack them," he said. "Like my first inning at-bat, I got a fastball up and away and then [Gilmartin] tried to come in on me. I was sitting on the fastball, and we all know the ball flies up here."
Dozier reversed course in the ninth, drawing an eight-pitch walk. He eventually scored the Solar Sox's seventh run on a single by Josh Vitters (Cubs).
How bad did Dozier want his first five-hit game as a pro?
"My job right there is to get on base," he said. "Good friend of mine, Billy Bullock with the Twins, it was fun facing him there.
"We came up short. ... but, for most part, it's been great. [Playing with] a lot of great guys that are very, very talented."
Through three AFL games, Dozier is 6-for-13 at the plate. His six knocks lead his peers in the early going.
Dozier, Minnesota's eighth-round draftee in 2009, batted .320 between Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain this past season.
The shortstop has seven four-hit games in his three-year pro career. Most recently, he went 4-for-5 and scored three runs for the Rock Cats on June 27.
Solar Sox starter Steve Johnson (Orioles) completed three one-hit shutout innings before departing. The right-hander struck out four, walked two and threw 38 pitches.
Saguaros counterpart Gilmartin yielded three runs on four hits and a base on balls.
Todd Cunningham (Braves) smacked a two-run ground-rule double and Wil Myers (Royals) added an RBI triple during a five-run fifth frame for Surprise. In the sixth, Kyle Skipworth (Marlins) doubled in a game-tying run.
Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.