MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer reached an impressive milestone against the White Sox on Thursday, recording his 2,000th career hit with a two-run single off left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer in the seventh inning of a 4-0 win at Target Field.Mauer joined exclusive company, as Hall of Famers Rod
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer reached an impressive milestone against the White Sox on Thursday, recording his 2,000th career hit with a two-run single off left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer in the seventh inning of a 4-0 win at Target Field.
Mauer joined exclusive company, as Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett are the only other players to reach 2,000 hits with Minnesota and he's the 287th player to ever accomplish the feat.
Mauer received a standing ovation from the crowd after the hit, as his feat was acknowledged on the video board. The hometown hero from St. Paul recognized the crowd's cheers with a tip of the helmet. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu also gave Mauer a congratulatory pat and he was again honored by the Twins with a tribute after the inning was over.
"That was awesome," Mauer said. "It really was. Leading up to it, I didn't think it was a big deal. But I got emotional. It was fun to see the fans, the boys at the top step and my family there, too. I'm glad I got it done tonight and it didn't linger on too long."
Making it even more special was the fact Mauer's family was in attendance, including his wife, Maddie, his parents, grandparents and his in-laws. His teammates also hosted a special tribute to him in the clubhouse after the game, giving him a signed bottle of Silver Oak 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. Mauer, though, told his teammates they have "bigger fish to fry" this season, as they try to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
"Everybody was here," Mauer said. "I think grandma and grandpa have seen all of [my hits] at home. Just the support here, growing up here, I got a lot of texts before the game from a couple guys I hadn't even heard from in a while, saying they were rooting for me. It means a lot."
The hit was vintage Mauer, a hard-hit single up the middle that brought home two insurance runs for the Twins, on a night that saw Jose Berrios dominate Chicago. Mauer's single into center had an exit velocity of 96.3 mph, and the White Sox had no chance with the infield playing in.
"It was Joe's night," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I just think the buildup, the response of our players and the fans that were here were kind of pushing him along. I'm sure it was gratifying for Joe to do in a moment where it was significant to the game and drive in a couple of runs. He's going to downplay it. It's who he is."
• Mauer's 2,000th hit looked much like his first
Mauer, a six-time All-Star and the 2009 American League MVP, came into the game two hits shy of No. 2,000 and walked in his first plate appearance in the first. But he had an RBI single in the third, prompting the Twins to play Prince's "Party Like It's 1999," to celebrate his 1,999th career hit.
"He obviously has had a great career," Berrios said. "Just seeing those things happening in our team is great and I'm proud of being his teammate."
Mauer, 34, is off to an incredible start in his 15th season with the Twins, hitting .412/.545/.529 with four doubles and six RBIs in 10 games. He leads the Majors in both batting average and on-base percentage.
"He's been around and continues to grind out at-bats," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He had some pretty good at-bats. He's always been a respected player in the game with the ability to put the bat on the ball and find a hole and/or drive the ball when he needed to. A pretty accomplished player, absolutely."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.