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Gardenhire finds spot to rest Dozier

Gardenhire finds spot to rest Dozier

Gardenhire finds spot to rest Dozier

CHICAGO -- After starting the previous 44 games dating back to Aug 1, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier was held out of the starting lineup on Monday against the White Sox.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been trying to find the right time to give Dozier a day off, but he didn't want to take out one of his best players when they played contending teams such as the A's and Rays last week.

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"He's dragging a little bit," Gardenhire said. "We knew that. But we wanted him to play against those teams. So we'll see where we go from here."

Dozier said he never likes to be held out of the lineup, but he was fine with Gardenhire's decision, considering he played so many games in a row. The last time he was held out was from July 30-31, when his back and knee and were bothering him.

"We've been knocking heads the last few weeks about him trying to give me a few days off," Dozier said with a smile. "We kept joking back and forth. I kept saying, 'Don't even ask me.' But today was a good day, especially going into the last two weeks of the season."

Dozier has developed into a bright spot for the Twins, as he ranks fourth among all big league second basemen in extra-base hits (52). Among all Major League players, his 27 doubles dating back to June 16 rank second only to Matt Carpenter (31) of the Cardinals.

Former White Sox infielder Eduardo Escobar started in Dozier's place at second base on Monday.

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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