MINNEAPOLIS -- Eddie Rosario wanted to make a statement on Tuesday after not starting multiple games last week during the Twins' West Coast road trip.The left fielder certainly did that, crushing three home runs to lift the Twins to a 20-7 win over the Mariners at Target Field. In his
MINNEAPOLIS -- Eddie Rosario wanted to make a statement on Tuesday after not starting multiple games last week during the Twins' West Coast road trip.
The left fielder certainly did that, crushing three home runs to lift the Twins to a 20-7 win over the Mariners at Target Field. In his first career multi-homer game, Rosario became the seventh Twin to hit three home runs in a game, and the first since James Dozier against Kansas City on Sept. 5, 2016.
"I wanted to come back and play hard and have good at-bats," Rosario said. "That was my goal."
Rosario's first homer capped a four-run second inning, which put the Twins ahead after they trailed, 3-0. According to Statcast™, his two-run shot to right traveled an estimated 440 feet with an exit velocity of 103.8 mph. It was also his first RBI since May 31.
After Christian Bergman exited after 2 2/3 innings, Rosario was the first to face reliever Casey Lawrence. He immediately belted the first pitch to left, a two-run homer as part of a seven-run outburst in the third, which included eight consecutive hits.
"When he gets good pitches to hit, he can do damage," manager Paul Molitor said. "He made a little bit of a statement tonight. He's been out of there for a few days, and came back with a little bit of vengeance today."
In the eighth, Rosario homered off Mariners catcher Carlos Ruiz, who was making his first career pitching appearance. The shot to center traveled an estimated 440 feet, per Statcast™, as he became the first player in the Majors to record multiple homers of at least 440 feet in one game this year. He is the eighth to do so in the Statcast™ era (since 2015).
Rosario is the fifth player in MLB history to hit three homers in a game from the No. 9 hole, and the first since Boston's Trot Nixon in 1999. All eight of Rosario's home runs this season have come at Target Field, where he has a .333 batting average.
"I think he's still learning what kind of hitter he is at this level," Molitor said. "He's got some power, he's got gap power. I think he's still learning. We are still trying to prod him to let the game come to him, he's an aggressive guy."
• The Twins recorded a franchise-record 28 hits, surpassing the previous mark of 27 set by the Senators in 1933.
• It is tied for the second most hits by a team this century. The Rangers had 29 in a 30-3 win over the Orioles on Aug. 22, 2007.
• Minnesota set a new franchise record with 21 singles.
• The 42 combined hits were the most in a game at Target Field.
• The Twins scored a season-high seven runs in both the third and seventh innings. It was the first time they had multiple innings of at least seven runs since Sept. 4, 2012, against the White Sox.
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.