MINNEAPOLIS -- With left-hander Chris Sale on the mound for the White Sox on Wednesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire opted to move second baseman Brian Dozier up to the leadoff spot in the order.
Dozier, who began the day hitting .278 with a .372 on-base percentage against lefties, replaced the left-handed-hitting Clete Thomas, who had served as the club's leadoff hitter for the previous three games. Thomas moved down to the No. 8 spot in the order.
"Dozier's on-base percentage is like .370 against lefties, so you just take a chance because [Sale] is pretty good and eats up lefties," Gardenhire said. "I think they're hitting like .075 against him. So you just try to do the best you can. The lineup is what it is."
Gardenhire said Dozier's move to the top of the lineup isn't permanent, as he's still looking for more production out of the leadoff spot. Twins leadoff hitters entered play Wednesday having combined to hit just .177 with a .232 on-base percentage.
Dozier went 1-for-2 with a three-run homer and a hit-by-pitch against Sale in leading the Twins to a 7-4 victory.
Willingham to DH until knee feels better
MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh Willingham's left knee continued to bother him in Tuesday's game, so he started at designated hitter on Wednesday against the White Sox.
Willingham missed Saturday's and Sunday's games with soreness in his left knee and had a cortisone shot in his knee Saturday night. He came back after Monday's off-day and felt good enough to start in left field on Tuesday, but his knee didn't react the way he wanted it to in his first game back.
"It's not perfect right now -- I can tell you that," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We'll see how this DH thing goes, but it wasn't a great night last night as far as him running around on his leg. So I'm a little concerned."
Gardenhire said he'll continue to start Willingham at DH until his knee feels better, as it usually takes a few days for the cortisone shot to fully set in.
"He's still fighting through it," Gardenhire said. "Last night wasn't perfect. It feels better, but it wasn't great during the game. So we'll see how it goes today. He didn't feel great, so we talked about it."
Willingham finished Wednesday's victory 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.