Brian Dozier went to Venezuela during the offseason to learn how to better play second base.
He's closing in on completing the mission, with a spot in Minnesota's opening-day lineup there for the taking.
Dozier hit his first home run of spring training for the Twins during a 6-2, rain-shortened loss to the Miami Marlins on Monday.
In a game cut to 5 1-2 innings, Dozier hit a two-run drive in the first off Nathan Eovaldi. Dozier is batting .243 with five RBIs this spring and in position to start at second base this season for the Twins after failing to become the everyday shortstop last year.
''At second base, he's doing great,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''And when he's hitting, he's a lot better right now. His swing is looking really nice now. He's not dragging his bat early. He was dragging it on fly balls that were going up in the air. So he's doing fine. Playing the game, he's more relaxed. He's looking more confident.''
The 25-year-old Dozier hit .234 in 316 at-ba...