Gardy opts for Carroll over Dozier in finale
Twins second baseman bats in leadoff spot after two hits on Saturday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went with the hot hand on Sunday, starting Jamey Carroll at second base over a slumping Brian Dozier in a 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Carroll has been swinging the bat well lately. After going 1-for-4 on Sunday, he's hitting .306 with a .375 on-base percentage in his first nine games this month. He batted leadoff for a second straight game after going 2-for-4 with a walk on Saturday.
"He knows how to play," Gardenhire said. "He knows how to work counts. He's swinging real well. He goes out and does his work and prepares to play like he's going to start every day, and then you put him out there and you don't miss a beat with him."
Dozier, meanwhile, was given a mental break as he's hitting just .103 (3-for-29) with 10 strikeouts and a walk over his last eight games. Dozier spent extra time working with hitting coach Tom Brunansky to fix his swing mechanics to keep him from hitting fly balls.
"He's working on his swing," Gardenhire said. "We know he's been playing great defense, but Bruno was working with him yesterday on an adjustment. He's been hitting the ball in the air too much."
Doumit, Willingham out of Sunday's lineup
MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran sluggers Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit were both held out of the lineup in Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Willingham entered Sunday hitting just .103 (4-for-39) over his last 10 games with no homers to lower his average to .108 on the season. Wilkin Ramirez made the start in left field in his place. But Willingham came in as a pinch-hitter for Aaron Hicks in the eighth inning and struck out against reliever Koji Uehara.
Willingham then made a costly gaffe in the eighth, as he attempted to catch a deep line drive hit by Dustin Pedroia, but it went off his wrist and over the fence for a two-run homer.
"He's been fighting it a little bit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was pretty fired up last night and you don't see that too often. So just take a break."
Doumit was given the day off after catching in Saturday's slugfest that lasted three hours and 53 minutes. He was also involved in a collision at home plate with Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway in the sixth inning.
"He played a four-hour baseball game and had a collision at home plate, so he was really beat up after the game," Gardenhire said. "So I think that's the best thing for him just to back off and give him a little bit of a break."
With Doumit out, Joe Mauer started behind the plate for the first time since missing Friday's game with back stiffness. Mauer started at designated hitter on Saturday and went 2-for-5 to extend his season-long hit streak to 15 games, but went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Sunday to end the streak.
• Right-hander Tim Wood, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24 with a right rotator cuff strain, was officially diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation and biceps tendinitis, according to Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony. Wood had an MRI exam on Wednesday after having his rehab assignment cut short because of discomfort in his shoulder. Antony said Wood will start another rehab assignment in nine to 10 days.
• Triple-A Rochester first baseman Chris Colabello was named the Twins' Minor League Player of the Week. Colabello, who starred for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, hit .560 with three homers, four doubles and eight RBIs in seven games.