Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

'Locked in' Sano shows off power in win

Twins third baseman goes 2-for-4 with four RBIs vs. Royals
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

KANSAS CITY -- It's becoming more and more apparent that Miguel Sano is developing into the powerful slugger the Twins hoped he'd become after a bit of a sophomore slump last year following a breakout rookie season.

Sano entered Friday with the highest average exit velocity in the Majors by nearly 3 mph, and only added to it with a two-run homer and a game-tying double in the eighth to lead the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

KANSAS CITY -- It's becoming more and more apparent that Miguel Sano is developing into the powerful slugger the Twins hoped he'd become after a bit of a sophomore slump last year following a breakout rookie season.

Sano entered Friday with the highest average exit velocity in the Majors by nearly 3 mph, and only added to it with a two-run homer and a game-tying double in the eighth to lead the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

"He was pretty locked in throughout the night, just like he has been," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He's been tracking the ball and putting good swings on it. He was a huge part of our offense obviously with the two huge swings he had."

Sano's two-run blast in the fourth off right-hander Ian Kennedy left the bat at 101.9 mph, traveling a projected 398 feet, while his two-run double with the bases loaded in the eighth had an exit velocity of 99.8 mph and went a projected 403 feet off the very top of the left-field wall.

Video: MIN@KC: Sano smacks a two-run homer to right

He increased his average exit velocity to 98.7 mph this season after averaging 92.3 mph off the bat last year. It's helped him hit .297/.435/.649 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 22 games.

Sano, who also leads with the Twins by seeing 4.5 pitches per plate appearance, worked a 3-2 count against Kennedy in the fourth before depositing a two-run homer to the opposite field. He simply went with a 93.3 mph on the outer half of the plate and drove it over the right-field fence.

"When Miggy is going good, he's going to hit the ball left, right, center," Molitor said. "That's a good sign for his game when he hits them to the opposite field like that."

His at-bat in the eighth came in a big situation, with the Twins loading the bases with one out against reliever Joakim Soria. He fouled back a first-pitch fastball from Soria that hit home-plate umpire CB Bucknor in the mask and caused him to leave the game.

Video: MIN@KC: Home-plate umpire leaves game after foul tip

After a six-minute delay, Soria came back with a 70.5 mph curveball that Sano ripped to deep left that was only inches from being a homer, but was confirmed as a game-tying two-run double after a review. Joe Mauer followed with a go-ahead two-run double to give the Twins the win.

Video: MIN@KC: Mauer gives Twins' lead on two-run double

Sano said he spent time near the heater to stay warm before his at-bat, but didn't take any swings during the delay. He went up looking for a fastball, but reacted to the slow curveball that caught too much of the zone.

"I came to the dugout and tried to stay hot," Sano said. "I was looking for a fastball, but when is saw the breaking ball, I was able to hit it for RBIs."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano