The Twins continued their homer-happy ways Sunday, hitting four more to key a 12-2 rout of the Tigers. Nelson Cruz got the party started with his 11th home run, a two-run shot off Detroit starter Ryan Carpenter in the first inning. Cruz has now homered in four straight games.
Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sanó also homered for Minnesota. Jake Odorizzi yielded only one run in six innings, striking out eight, to run his record to 9-2.
It was just another day at the office for Twins sluggers, who are on a record pace for home runs. With an MLB-leading 125 home runs, the Twins are on course to hit 316, which would shatter the season record for home runs by a team (267) set just last year by the Yankees.
What’s especially remarkable about the home run surge is the fact the Twins are making good contact at the plate. They have an MLB-leading .274 team batting average while registering the third-fewest strikeouts of any team. Minnesota leads the majors with 382 runs scored.
That offense has powered the Twins to a 43-21 record and a comfortable 10 1/2 game lead over the Indians in the AL Central.
Sunday’s win marked the final leg of a 10-game road trip against the Rays, Indians and Tigers. The Indians finished 6-4 on the trip, but manager Rocco Baldelli said it was nice to have a breather Sunday after some close games.
“We’ve played some difficult games on this trip,” Baldelli said (via the Minneapolis Star Tribune). “We have played some difficult teams. All these teams, they played us tough. To have one game at the end that was a slightly lower-stress environment, it’s actually nice for our guys, because they have kind of been locked in every game we have played.”
Studs of the Night
Mets right hander Noah Syndergaard pitched seven scoreless innings, gave up only one hit and struck out seven in a win over the Rockies.
Mariners slugger Edwin Encarnación hit a pair of home runs and drove in three in a win over the Angels.
DH Yandy Díaz had four hits, including a home run, and scored a couple of runs in the Rays’ 6-1 win against the Red Sox.
Marlins left fielder Austin Dean went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs in a loss to the Braves.
Dud of the Night
Indians starter Shane Bieber gave up five runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees.
The Nationals hit four straight home runs in the eighth inning in a 5-2 win over the Padres, with Howie Kendrick, Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon going deep. Washington, which also hit four straight in a game against the Brewers in 2017, becomes the first team to accomplish the feat twice.
Ronald Acuña Jr. ties it up with a three-run blast in the ninth.
Better watch out or Rougned Odor might do something crazy like try to steal home.
Mets (32-33) at Yankees (40-24) 7:05 p.m. ET – Everyone knows what the Yankees have done this season despite a rash of injuries to key players, but the Mets have been playing well lately, winning four of five. Masahiro Tanaka (3-5, 3.42 ERA), just back from the paternity list after welcoming a baby daughter, goes for the Yankees, against veteran lefty Jason Vargas (2-3, 3.57 ERA).
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