Found May 13, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS Twins shortstop Brian Dozier called the flower shop in his hometown of Fulton, Miss., to order a Mother's Day bouquet on Sunday morning for his mom, Jan. There was one slight problem, though: the flower shop in the small town of around 4,000 people wasn't open. "I called twice. They didn't answer," Dozier said. A home run will have to substitute for flowers. Dozier, 24, connected for his first career major league home run in Sunday's 4-3 Twins win over Toronto. Dozier went deep in the third inning off Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero, putting one into the seats in the second deck in left field. His solo blast was the first run of the game for the Twins, who took a 1-0 lead on the homer. "It was so awesome," Dozier said of his home run, which came on a 1-0 changeup. "It couldn't happen on a better day, for Mother's Day, my mom back home watching. Unfortunately she wasn't able to be here, but at the same time it's very fun. A good win for us." Dozier isn't exactly a power hitter, hitting a combined 15 home runs in four minor league seasons. The most he hit in a season was nine, which came last year at High-A Fort Myers (two homers) and Double-A New Britain (seven). But his second-deck shot at pitcher-friendly Target Field was a no-doubter estimated at 388 feet. "I was able to get some good wood on it," Dozier said. "I didn't even know it went upper deck until (Trevor) Plouffe told me afterwards." While many MLB players -- including several Twins -- used pink Louisville Slugger bats Sunday for Mother's Day, Dozier took a different approach. He wore bright pink cleats to pay tribute to his grandmother, who passed away a few years ago from breast cancer. The home run -- which came in a 2-for-5 performance Sunday -- was the perfect cap to Dozier's first week in the majors. He made his debut on Monday against the Angels and is now hitting .267 (8-for-30) since getting called up. Defensively, Dozier has looked confident at shortstop. In the fourth inning, he helped start a double play by catching a Ben Francisco line drive and firing to second base to double up Edwin Encarnacion. "I've always thrived a lot on my defense," Dozier said. "I think that's one of the things all throughout high school, college and throughout the Twins farm system that I've really thrived on a lot. I think that's the biggest thing, defense before offense. I feel comfortable out there right now. Everything's going good." Added Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: "He's playing great shortstop and getting some big hits. ... A big smile on his face, which is kind of fun. He's playing the heck out of shortstop." Since arriving in Minneapolis, Dozier hasn't even had time to settle into his new city. He's still living in a hotel while looking for a place to live. He's not the only one, either, as several players have recently joined Dozier in making the jump from Triple-A Rochester to the majors. That includes Sunday's starting pitcher, Scott Diamond, who threw seven scoreless innings for the second time in as many starts. If that duo of Dozier and Diamond continues to play the way they have, they might want to be sure to find a permanent place to live in town. "It's been very overwhelming, that's the biggest thing," Dozier said of his first week in the majors. "I'm just soaking everything in right now. ... Still getting settled in, but so far it's been good." Dozier was able to get the ball back from his first career home run in exchange for a few autographed baseballs and a pair of batting gloves. The final destination for the ball? It's heading to Fulton as a gift to Jan. "I gave that to my mom," he said of the ball. "I'm afraid I might lose it." Dozier said he got his mom a new pair of shoes she's been wanting as a Mother's Day gift. Well, make that two pairs -- the pink cleats from Sunday's game will be framed and sent to Jan. No flowers, though. Jan Dozier will have to settle for an impressive game by her son. "Hopefully the home run and the cleats might overshadow everything," Dozier said. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
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