Gardy opts for Carroll over Dozier in finale

Twins second baseman bats in leadoff spot after two hits on Saturday

Gardy opts for Carroll over Dozier in finale

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."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.