Maybe Paul Molitor could get used to playing long ball after all.
Sure, the Twins manager would prefer a club that could slash and dash a little more frequently rather than just bash and mash. However, three more home runs, including the 100th of Brian Dozier's career, lifted the Twins to a 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night at Target Field.
"The home runs are there and they're working," Molitor said. "They've definitely contributed to some of the wins we've been able to put on the board."
This marked the 21st time the Twins had hit three or more homers in a game this season. They have gone 17-4 in those games.
Five of those outbursts have come in their past 14 games (27 total homers) since July 31. The lone loss came last week against the Houston Astros.
"We'll take the homers," Dozier said.
Moments after Eddie Rosario's two-run homer in the sixth, Dozier blasted a Dillon Gee cutter 429 feet for his majors-high 17th homer since June 25. With 25 homers, Dozier is three shy of his career high, set last season.
He also has homered in his past four starts against the Royals, dating to April 10 at Kauffman Stadium.
With the crowd still roaring, Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar pushed Dozier up the dugout steps for his first career curtain call.
"I knew I had to get out there," Dozier said before heading back out to joining Kyle Gibson and Escobar in addressing the postgame crowd on Faith Night. "Pretty cool. I don't know how many people knew. I didn't even know I was that close (to 100 homers) until a couple days ago."
Rosario, meanwhile, has three career four-strikeout games. He has now followed up twice with a homer in his next game.
"We were talking about that," Dozier said. "I wouldn't say let's do that every time but he responds well. That's a good thing from him that he's learning. He wanted to stay inside the ball more, stay behind the ball and he did that. That was kind of the dagger."
The back-to-back homers marked the 11th time that has happened for the Twins this season. That ties the 1986 club for second-most in a Twins season; the 1964 Twins hit consecutive homers 14 times, which is still the Twins' franchise record.
Randomly, they won the American League pennant in the season that followed those other two back-to-back outbursts.
With 143 homers, the Twins are tied with the 7-3 win Chicago Cubs for 13th most in the majors.
Robbie Grossman had three hits and drove in the other two runs for the Twins, including his eighth homer, a leadoff blast on a Gee (4-6) changeup in the fifth. The left fielder also scored Dozier with a bad-hop single off Eric Hosmer's glove in the first.
That was the Twins' only hit with runners in scoring position as they fell to 2 for 12 in clutch spots for the series. The Royals went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position, including a costly foul popup on Raul Mondesi's attempted sacrifice with two on and nobody out in the fifth.
"That was huge," said Twins right-hander Tyler Duffey, who evened his record at 8-8 with seven solid innings that included his 19th homer allowed (Cheslor Cuthbert's solo homer in the third).
Duffey has quality starts in consecutive outings for the first time since April 30-May 15, when he put together three straight. He also benefited from some sterling defense, especially by the left side of his infield: Jorge Polanco at third and Escobar at shortstop.
Brandon Kintzler handled the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.
This was just the second win for the Twins in 11 tries against the third-place Royals, dating to last September. At Target Field they are 2-9 against the Royals since the middle of April 2015.
"Their record is not the same but the dynamic of their team hasn't changed," Molitor said. "A lot of professional at-bats and pressure on defense. They run the bases. They make plays. Gee did fairly well early but we eventually got a chance to hit some balls and square them up and get them over the fence."
The Twins have been doing that a lot lately.