KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Joe Mauer set a franchise milestone on Saturday night, becoming the Twins' all-time leader in doubles with No. 415 in a 4-2 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, surpassing Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett's total of 414.Mauer, a three-time batting champion and six-time All-Star,
KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Joe Mauer set a franchise milestone on Saturday night, becoming the Twins' all-time leader in doubles with No. 415 in a 4-2 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium, surpassing Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett's total of 414.
Mauer, a three-time batting champion and six-time All-Star, hit a leadoff double to left-center off Royals right-hander Jakob Junis. It was his 14th double of the season, and Mauer has at least 20 doubles in all but one season since 2005. He's averaged 28 doubles per season over his 15-year career with a personal-best of 43 doubles in '10.
After the double, the second-base bag was removed from the field as a keepsake for Mauer. He also received the ball from the double from manager Paul Molitor after the game, while he gave his bat to the Twins for their archives.
"It means a lot to me," Mauer said. "Obviously, growing up in Minnesota, the guy I passed, I idolized as a kid. I told the guys in here when Mollie gave me the ball, it was really special to see the boys up on the top step of the dugout. That meant a lot to me. Hopefully there are a lot more to come."
Mauer, 35, has 415 doubles through 6,695 at-bats, while Puckett had 414 in 7,244 at-bats. Mauer, who went 3-for-4, has 45 career doubles against the Royals, which is his third-most against any team, trailing only the White Sox (52) and Indians (51).
He passed Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew this year for Opening Days started with the Twins and Mauer is chasing Killebrew for times on base in a career. He's also third on the Twins' all-time list in career hits. Mauer is 28 hits behind Hall of Famer Rod Carew for the second-most hits in Minnesota history and Mauer needs to reach base 68 more times to catch Killebrew's all-time club record.
"It means a lot because those guys mean a lot to me," Mauer said. "Even before I was a Twin, watching them play and idolizing them. Now, starting to climb the leaderboards with them is pretty cool to stop and think about. But right now, I'm trying to get wins. It was a nice little moment there during the game."
After the double, Mauer went on to score on an RBI single from Eddie Rosario to give the Twins an early 1-0 lead in the eventual loss.
"Joe had a really nice night, including setting the record, which was pretty special," Molitor said. "We're just having trouble scoring right now in the first two coming out of the break."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.