DETROIT - It's been that kind of year.
Second baseman Brian Dozier hit his 40th home run of the season, setting an American League record for most homers hit by a primary second baseman, and catcher Kurt Suzuki added another, but the stumbling Twins still lost to the Tigers 4-2.
Dozier's round-tipper moves him past former Yankee Allfonso Soriano, who set the previous record of 39 back in 2002. Davey Johnson holds the overall Major League Baseball (MLB) record for hitting 43 round-trippers when he played for Atlanta in 1973.
Mr. Dozier is also just the second Twin to hit 40 or more. The great Harmon Killebrew last did it in 1970.
Making things even more interesting is how Dozier reached his record. He hit just 14 homers before the All-Star break, and since that time has hammered 25 home runs in 55 games. His previous season high was 28 homers in 2015. It has been painfully obvious, however, that Dozier has not been enjoying his chase of the record as much as he could, as the Twins have swirled the drain en route to a certain last-place finish.
"I'm sure when the season is over, it will mean a lot more, but I just wish this was happening in [first-place] Cleveland's position or Detroit's position, where we were making a run," Dozier told reporters after the game "We're still looking at losing 100 games. ... That takes something away from this."
Miguel Cabrera and Ian Kinsler homered, and the Detroit Tigers scored two runs in the seventh inning on close plays at the plate, rallying for the 4-2 victory.
Andrew Romine slid in safely with the tying run on a double by Jose Iglesias, and Iglesias scored on Kinsler's sacrifice fly to put the Tigers ahead 3-2. Cabrera's homer in the eighth gave Detroit an insurance run, and the Tigers pulled within a game of Baltimore for the American League's second wild card.
Shane Greene (4-4) got the win in relief, and Bruce Rondon worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth. Francisco Rodriguez walked two in the ninth but held on for his 41st save in 45 chances.
Alex Wimmers (1-2) took the loss.