"He's been playing every game and every inning," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We all see he's scuffling a little bit. He just missed a home run last night. You could see a little frustration in the dugout. And he's a little worn out. So he needs a blow like everybody else."
With Dozier out of the lineup, Eduardo Escobar made the start at second base.
Left fielder Josh Willingham was also not in the lineup, as Gardenhire opted to start the hot-hitting Chris Parmelee in left field with right-hander James Shields on the mound for the Royals.
Parmelee wasted no time, getting the Twins on the board with an RBI double in the first inning.
"I tried to put as many lefties in there as I possibly could," Gardenhire said.
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.