Minnesota's Dual Eight Home Run Games Recall Similar Feat Of the 2005 Rangers
All-Star Outfielder Eddie Rosario Contributed On Both Occasions
Minnesota Hopes For A Better Feat Than The Team That Shares Its Recent Feat
The Twins slugged eight dingers in a 16-7 win against the Los Angeles Angels to complete a three game sweep, repeating a feat Minnesota had achieved earlier in the season. Only one other team in the long history of Major League Baseball has managed to enjoy two games in which they hit eight home runs during the same season.
In the game against the Angels on May 23, the Twins did not take long to start bashing. After being shut down by Los Angeles starter Matt Harvey in the first, Minnesota in the second got a three run blast from Jonathan Schoop and added a two run homer from Jorge Polanco.
Harvey then gave up solo shots in the next frame to C. J. Cron and Miguel Sano, a combination that convinced Los Angeles manager Brad Ausmus to go to his bullpen. The relief corps kept the ball in the yard until the seventh, when Schoop and Sano both went deep again.
After another call to the bullpen, Max Kepler joined the home run parade later that same inning. The final blast came in the eighth off the bat of Eddie Rosario, the Minnesota leader in homers and the player you would most expect to go deep.
Rosario was also a component when the Twins first went deep eight times in a game, which happened back on April 20. In addition to having hit the exact number of home runs, Minnesota won that game against ten Baltimore Orioles by the exact same score of 16-7.
Schoop was the only player who had multiple home runs on both occasions, against the Angels last week and the Orioles in the April game. Nelson Cruz had two in the first game, as did Mitch Garber and Byron Buxton. The rest of the eight came from Rosario and Cron.
Those two eight home run games in one season were not a first, however, but you have to go back to 2005 to find the only other time the feat was achieved in the long history of baseball. It was the Texas ball club that reached the hone run octet on two occasions that season, the first on May 20.
That Saturday afternoon contest in Arlington Stadium saw seven different Rangers go deep, as they routed the Houston Astros 18-3. David Dellucci had a pair of dingers while a sestet of teammates had one each, players named Rod Barajas, Hank Blalock, Mark Teixeira, Richard Hidalgo, Laynce Nix and Kevin Mench.
Texas racked up another eighteen runs at the end of the next month, erecting the Los Angeles Angels 18-7 on June 30. On this occasion the aforementioned Mench went deep three times, accounting for almost half of the eight hit by Texas. Teixeira added two of his own, while the others came from Alfonso Soriano, Blalock, and Dellucci.
In spite of those two huge power exhibitions, Texas wound up finishing just a few games over .400 and in third place in the A.L. West. Their two opponents in those games, however, enjoyed a much better fate.
Houston of course ended up in its first ever World Series, having capture the National League pennant. The Angels won 95 games and advanced to the A.L. Championship Series against the Chicago White Sox.
While the Twins are more than happy to share with the Rangers the record for eight home run games in a season, manager Rocco Baldelli and his crew have to be hoping the similarities stop there.