August 4, 2019

All hail the Twins’ Nelson Cruz

Slugger Nelson Cruz appears ready to single-handedly lead the Twins to a division title and possibly more after putting on a show Friday and Saturday.

In two games, Cruz went 6-for-10 at the plate and hit four home runs, including three on Saturday in the Twins’ 11-3 defeat of the Kansas City Royals. He now has hit 390 home runs over his career and seems certain to reach the 400 mark before the season comes to an end.

“I mean, he’s not missing,” Royals manager Ned Yost told “You throw something that’s got a little too much of the plate, and he’s gonna ride it.”

It’s the 2019 Twins, so Cruz wasn’t the only one who hit a ball into the stands on Saturday. C.J. Cron, fresh off the injured list, hit his 19th, and Jorge Polanco hit a three-run blast, his 17th, in the second inning. Like Cruz, Cron also had three hits.

Starter Kyle Gibson delivered a quality start and improved to 11-4 with an ERA just a nudge over 4.00 at 4.02. Rookie reliever, Cody Stashak, who served up the walk-off home run to the Miami Marlins earlier in the week, redeemed himself with two scoreless innings and two strikeouts.

Once again the Twins go for the sweep on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi gets the ball and goes for win No. 13.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are a season-best 26 games over .500 at 68-42 and yet… the Cleveland Indians won, too, so the two teams are still separated by three games.

-The Twins are still struggling with the injury bug. Starter Michael Pineda and outfielder Byron Buxton are both headed back to the injured list. In their place, the team has called up outfielder Jake Cave and reliever Zack Littell.

-Joe Nathan, the Twins’ all-time saves leader, was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame on Saturday. He has 377 career saves, including 260 with the Twins. He also was a six-time all-star.

-Cruz’s three home runs now tie him with Max Kepler for the team lead in home runs at 30.


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.