Sanó gives Twins record 5 players with 30 HRs

September 18th, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mitch Garver had approached and told him the importance of Sanó’s next home run.

Sanó, the big Dominican slugger, was sitting on 29 home runs this season, ranking fourth on the Majors-leading Twins. A day later, Sanó had his home run, and Minnesota had history.

Sanó hit his 30th home run on Tuesday night against the White Sox at Target Field, becoming the fifth Twins player to reach 30 homers this season, setting a Major League record.

“I told him, ‘I need to do it,'” Sanó recalled telling Garver. “Big moment, great year for everybody here.”

On a night the Twins won 9-8 in 12 innings in comeback fashion, Sanó joined Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Garver with 30 homers. Minnesota was tied with 12 teams in MLB history with four players with at least 30 home runs, last done by the Phillies in 2009.

“We’re seeing what these guys are capable of, and it’s really great,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We knew we had ability. Potential and ability are one thing. Actually finding a way to get the production to that level on the field is a completely different conversation, and our guys have found a way to do that, and that’s them. That’s the hard work. That’s them growing as people and as players, and I’m extremely impressed by all of them.”

Sanó hit a towering three-run homer to left-center field in the third inning against Chicago left-hander Ross Detwiler to set the record. The home run went a projected 482 feet, the second longest by the team since Statcast began tracking in 2015.

Kennys Vargas had a 483-foot home run on June 20, 2017.

In estimates by the Twins, the longest home run in Target Field history was 490 feet by Jim Thome on July 17, 2011, making Sanó’s homer the second longest in the stadium's 10-year history.

“Last year, I got injuries,” Sanó said, adding that he worked hard in the offseason to have his best season. “As soon as I get into the Dominican, I start working and I never stop. I’m so happy about it. I put a lot of effort every day. I work hard every day in the morning. I do my routine, stretching. Amazing year we’re having.”

Sanó hit the 30-home run mark despite missing the first 42 games of the season with a heel laceration. The performance hasn’t come without work from Sanó.

He was hitting .195 with nine home runs in 31 games as of June 27. With the help of coaches, he made adjustments and has turned into one of the Twins’ most dangerous hitters.

In his past 65 games, Sanó has hit .264 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs.

“He’s physically capable of doing things that really very few people in baseball are capable of doing,” Baldelli said. “The strength, the athleticism, the agility actually for a guy of that size with that strength, but that only gets you so far. He’s made tangible adjustments to get where he’s at right now, and he continues to grow and he continues to make those adjustments on a day-to-day basis. Without those changes and those adjustments, he wouldn’t be having the success he’s having. That’s who he is, and he’s continuing to grow before our eyes.”

Twins first baseman C.J. Cron has 24 homers this season. Sanó’s home run extended Minnesota’s MLB record to 288.