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Willingham, as usual, being hit by plenty of pitches

Willingham, as usual, being hit by plenty of pitches

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Willingham, as usual, being hit by plenty of pitches

MINNEAPOLIS -- With another hit by pitch in Friday's 4-0 loss to the Tigers, Josh Willingham leads the American League by a sizable margin in getting plunked by pitches.

Willingham has been hit 12 times this year entering Saturday, which is almost twice as many as Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who ranks second in the league with seven hit by pitches.

But it's nothing new for Willingham, who has been hit by 101 pitches in his career to rank tied for 13th with Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder on the active list. He's reached double digits in hit by pitches in seven of the last eight years, including a career-high 16 times in '07 with the Marlins.

"He's on the plate and is not one of those guys who shies away from it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He doesn't move. But it's happened throughout his career and I know he's been hit quite a bit this year."

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.

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