Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Rosario’s 3-homer day leads Twins' slugfest

Minnesota hits 11 home runs in doubleheader sweep of Orioles
April 21, 2019

BALTIMORE -- There’s a small bug moving through the Twins clubhouse that has left a couple of players feeling under the weather. But there’s something else floating around that everyone wants to catch -- it’s whatever Eddie Rosario has at the plate. “I don’t know that you can get much

BALTIMORE -- There’s a small bug moving through the Twins clubhouse that has left a couple of players feeling under the weather. But there’s something else floating around that everyone wants to catch -- it’s whatever Eddie Rosario has at the plate.

“I don’t know that you can get much hotter than he is,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.

The Twins, inspired by their streaking teammate, pounded 11 home runs Saturday, including a franchise-tying eight in Game 2’s 16-7 rout to sweep a doubleheader against the Orioles. They also held on for a 6-5 triumph in Game 1 en route to their eighth straight victory over Baltimore.

The linchpin once again was Rosario, who went 5-for-9 in the two contests with three home runs and four RBIs, building on a ridiculous 15-game tear during which he’s registered a .356 average with nine homers and 20 RBIs, completely obliterating his 0-for-11 start to 2019. His nine homers are the most by a Twins player in the team’s first 18 games in club history.

“Beautiful,” Rosario said. “I think sometimes, when you’re doing something good in the game, everything happens good. Everything you try is in the right way.”

How Baldelli approached Saturday's twin bill

Rosario entered Saturday’s games amid a hot streak that saw him tally six home runs in 13 games. He added to those totals in Game 1 with a second-inning homer off Baltimore’s Dan Straily and a fifth-inning blast off Straily just inside the right-field foul pole, giving him consecutive two-homer games after connecting twice in Minnesota’s loss to Toronto on Thursday. Rosario became just the third Twins player to hit two homers in back-to-back games, and the first since Kirby Puckett in 1987.

“Kirby Puckett is a legend for the Twins, and I want to try and be there, too,” Rosario said.

Rosario added his third home run of the day in the third inning of Game 2 with a 398-foot shot to center off Baltimore starter Alex Cobb. Rosario had plenty of company, as four other Twins went deep over the first four innings of the game to stake Minnesota to a 13-0 advantage.

The Twins turned the nightcap into a long-ball parade, as Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop each hit two home runs, and C.J. Cron added another as Minnesota set season highs in runs (16), home runs (8) and hits (19). The eight home runs equaled a franchise mark set on Aug. 29, 1963.

“It seemed like it was contagious,” Baldelli said. “Some of it can affect everyone on the field, when one guy starts hitting and having good at-bats, something rolls over. I don’t know how it happens, I can’t explain it, but if you’re around baseball enough, you do see it.

“What Rosey’s doing up there is not something you see a ton of, and when something like that is happening, you just try to carry it and not interject or throw too many things into it.”

Rosario’s efforts extended into the field as well. In Game 1, he was part of a perfect relay throw from left to nab Baltimore’s Rio Ruiz at the plate in the third inning, and in the sixth, he took away a home run from Chris Davis with a leaping catch at the wall, helping Jose Berrios pick up his third win of the season.

“That’s the Eddie we all know,” Berrios said. “He goes out there with a game plan, and he executed it today. He hit two homers, he made good plays for us. That’s him. He’s having fun, taking the game seriously and enjoying it.”

With five home runs in his last 13 at-bats, Rosario is making sure to enjoy every minute of his hot streak.

“When you’re hitting three homers in one day, everything is fun,” Rosario said.