MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman Joe Mauer continues to move up in the Twins' record books, as he passed Hall of Famer Rod Carew on the franchise's all-time hit list with his 2,086th career hit on a single to left in the fifth inning against the A's on Friday night at
MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman Joe Mauer continues to move up in the Twins' record books, as he passed Hall of Famer Rod Carew on the franchise's all-time hit list with his 2,086th career hit on a single to left in the fifth inning against the A's on Friday night at Target Field. Minnesota fell to Oakland, 7-1.
Mauer, who tied Carew with a single Thursday, passed him with a two-out single off lefty Sean Manaea, grounding the ball through the left side of the infield with Robbie Grossman running on the play. Mauer now trails only Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett (2,304) on Minnesota's all-time hit list.
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"It was a really nice moment," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Every once in a while, you've just got to pause and think. The pleasure of having him being a part of this organization, and the things he's been able to do, that's pretty high air there when you pass Rodney and you're staring up at one more guy. I think there's a lot more in there and we'll see where it goes from there."
After the single, Mauer's achievement was displayed on the video board, prompting a standing ovation from Twins fans. Mauer, who tipped his cap to the fans, is also just one run away from becoming the third Twins player to score 1,000 runs. Puckett (1,071) and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew (1,047) are the only other Twins to reach that milestone.
"It was a nice deal," Mauer said. "Obviously, the fans recognizing that and teammates and coaches. It was a special moment. I was telling the guys after it makes me uncomfortable being out there on the field all by myself. Definitely appreciate just the small part in the game to recognize that."
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Mauer, 35, is in the last year of his eight-year, $184 million deal signed before the 2010 season, and hasn't indicated whether he plans to return next year. But Molitor, a St. Paul native like Mauer, said he'd welcome him back if he wants to return with Minnesota.
"He's a private guy and I'm sure some of the things that he's pondering, where this is going to go, I think we're all going to be very attuned to what his desires are," Molitor said. "I would imagine you would want to probably have some removal from the emotion of the season to see where you want to go, but I think we're all hopeful that Joe's going to keep playing baseball."
Mauer has racked up a slew of honors throughout his 15-year career, having been named an All-Star six times, winning the American League MVP in 2009 and winning AL batting titles in 2006, 2008 and '09, while also winning five Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Gloves.
But he said catching Puckett with 218 more hits isn't something that's necessarily on his radar.
"I don't know, I mean, obviously, he's one of my favorites," Mauer said. "Probably a lot of people around my age from Minnesota's favorite. I play. I enjoy putting this uniform on every day. If that happens, that would be great, but that's not something I'm really concentrating on."
So while Mauer has remained non-committal about his future, his teammates remain in awe over what he's accomplished during his career.
"It's pretty special to watch," right-hander Jake Odorizzi said. "He's just a great player who has done it consistently for a number of years. He probably doesn't get as much credit as he deserves, to be quite honest. It's pretty special what he's able to do on a daily basis, night in, night out, playing first, DH'ing, switching from catcher, where he was arguably the best in the game. He's had a phenomenal career that's going to keep going until I think he decides he's done. Hopefully the next couple years he stays here and can surpass Kirby Puckett and just kind of cap things off. I think it's only fitting for him."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.