05/08/12 12:57 AM ET
Willingham held out of lineup with illness
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Gardenhire added that there's a chance Willingham could be available as a pinch-hitter, but he wasn't feeling well enough to be in the lineup.
"He's sick," Gardenhire said. "He has some kind of flu-bug. So there's not too much you can do about that."
Erik Komatsu, who was claimed by the Twins off waivers from the Cardinals on Friday, started in left field in Willingham's place.
Dozier collects first big league hit in debut
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier made his Major League debut for the Twins on Monday night, batting second and playing shortstop in an 8-3 loss against the Angels.
He went 1-for-4 with a single in the eighth inning while making a few nice plays in the field, including a spin and throw to get Mark Trumbo on a ball hit up the middle in the eighth.
"Everything went good," said Dozier, who picked up his first hit against reliever David Carpenter. "I was real exited. I hit a couple balls hard and made all the plays. We came up with a loss, which was the biggest thing, but I'm excited everything went well."
The 24-year-old hit .276 with a homer, four doubles and two stolen bases in 28 games with Triple-A Rochester before hearing the news on Saturday that he'd be called up.
"It's something everybody dreams about," Dozier said before the game. "It's something I dreamed about for 20-something years now. It was emotional for me when I first got called up, so I've had a couple days to let it all soak in. But it's very overwhelming. I've been very blessed, and so I'm very excited to be here."
Dozier was the club's Minor League Player of the Year last year and ranks as the team's No. 14 prospect, according to MLB.com.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire met with Dozier before the game and stressed to him that it's important to take it all in, because you only get one big league debut.
"We just want him to go out there and relax and have some fun," Gardenhire said. "It's his first chance to play on a Major League field, and he gets the chance to face [Jered] Weaver, which makes it bigger, so that's cool. So it's a big moment. For those of us who had the opportunity to play in a Major League ballgame, it's an experience you should really take in."
With Dozier at shortstop, Jamey Carroll shifted over to second base, with Alexi Casilla out with a minor shoulder injury sustained on a diving play in Seattle.
Gardenhire also met with Carroll before the game to tell him that he'll be shifting all over the diamond now that Dozier is expected to be the club's starting shortstop moving forward.
"He understood totally," Gardenhire said. "He's done it his whole career. He played great shortstop for us, so I wanted to let him know it wasn't a demotion and not a knock on him. He's been a great shortstop for us, but our best player down there was Mr. Dozier. So we want him to get exposure up here. So Jamey, Alexi, all of them will move around. Even at third base, too."
Diamond set for season debut Tuesday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Scott Diamond joined the Twins at Target Field on Monday, and he is slated to make his season debut against the Angels on Tuesday.
Diamond, who was officially recalled from Triple-A Rochester late Saturday night, was told before his start on Friday that he'd be getting called up by the Twins. He tossed three scoreless innings before he was pulled from the game.
Diamond, 25, posted a 2.60 ERA with 26 strikeouts and seven walks in 34 2/3 innings with Rochester.
"I was mixing up everything," Diamond said. "I was able to work down and get ahead of hitters. We had a good catching staff down there and were working on the same page, which was good."
Diamond started seven games with the Twins last season, posting a 5.08 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 17 walks in 39 innings. But he said he learned a lot from his experience in the big leagues, and it helped him this season at Triple-A.
"I remember taking to [Carl] Pavano a lot last year, and he goes deep into games, so I tried to take the same mentality into every game this year," Diamond said. "I've tried to keep it simple and not let the game speed up on me. So I've been able to throw strikes and attack hitters."
Gardy back from daughter's graduation
MINNEAPOLIS -- After missing Minnesota's three-game series in Seattle to attend his daughter Tara's college graduation, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire returned to manage the club on Monday.
The Twins went 1-2 in his absence under bench coach Scott Ullger, while Gardenhire went to the graduation at Southwest Minnesota State.
"It was very nice," Gardenhire said. "It was a fun thing. It was a great event. It was a nice graduation, and she was very excited."
Twins announce Honorary Bat Girl winner
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kristin Anderson was named the Twins' winner of the 2012 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a campaign to recognize baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment of "Going to Bat" in the fight against the disease.
Anderson will be recognized by the Twins in a special pregame ceremony before their game against the Blue Jays on Sunday at Target Field. She'll also receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game.
She is one of 30 winners, one for each MLB club. Each winner was selected by a panel that included MLB players and celebrities in addition to fan votes casted on HonoraryBatGirl.com.
On Mother's Day, hundreds of MLB players are expected to use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the official bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. The Honorary Bat Girl Contest was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother's Day.