September 1, 2019

Record-setting Twins hit 6 home runs — and lose

The Twins set two records on Saturday: they hit six home runs to become the major league’s single-season leader in home runs with 268, and they became the first Twins team to hit that many home runs in a game and lose.

Which record do you want to celebrate?

I’m having trouble celebrating at all because they lost again to the Detroit Tigers, a team that just won its 40th game on Aug. 31. The Twins can hit all the home runs in the world, but if your starting pitcher is going to allow eight runs (seven earned) in two-plus innings, the power isn’t going to matter. And it didn’t on Saturday.

The Tigers put together a seven-run third inning, then held on to beat the Twins 10-7. Luckily, the Cleveland Indians lost again to the Tampa Bay Rays, so the Twins’ lead in the American League Central still stands at 4.5 games.

Perez pitched well in his last start but was terrible on Saturday. And when you struggle that badly against the worst team in baseball, it raises questions about your effectiveness down the stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Twins skipped Perez’s next start in favor of Devin Smeltzer or Lewis Thorpe. Just a thought.

Thankfully, Michael Pineda gets the ball on Sunday.

Extra innings…

-Who hit the home runs for the Twins? Mitch Garver, who hit two, Max Kepler, Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron and Jorge Polanco.

-It was a long afternoon for Ehire Adrianza. Adrianza typically plays in the infield, but on Saturday he was asked to play right field where he committed two errors. He was ultimately replaced by Jake Cave.

-Perez threw 82 pitches in two-plus innings.

-The Twins had 10 hits: seven extra-base hits — a double and six home runs — and three singles.

-Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd finished his day with an interesting pitching line. He allowed six hits, including four home runs, over six innings, but he also struck out 11.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.