Rosario homers on first pitch of career
Prospect is sixth Twins player to homer in first AB, 29th in MLB to homer on first pitch
MINNEAPOLIS -- Eddie Rosario didn't waste any time making an impact in his Major League debut.
Rosario, starting two days after being called up from Triple-A Rochester, homered on the first pitch he saw from A's left-hander Scott Kazmir on Wednesday to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the third inning of the Twins' 13-0 win. He became the first Twins player to homer on his first big league pitch and just the 29th player in Major League history to accomplish the feat.
"It was an awesome moment," Rosario said. "To have your first-bat and hit the first pitch for a home run. I was just trying to be aggressive."
The last player to homer on the first pitch of a career was Starling Marte with the Pirates on July 26, 2012. Twins left-hander Tommy Milone, who is at Rochester, also accomplished the feat on Sept. 3, 2011, while with the Nationals. Other notable players to do it include J.P. Arencibia, Adam Wainwright, Daniel Nava, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jay Bell and Bert Campaneris.
Rosario, who made the start in right field and hit eighth, also became the sixth Twins player to homer in the first at-bat of a career. The last to do so for Minnesota was Luke Hughes against the Tigers on April 28, 2010.
Rosario, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as Minnesota's No. 9 prospect, was given the silent treatment by his teammates upon coming back to the dugout before they finally broke down and congratulated him for his historic homer.
"I think it goes to show that Eddie is very well liked by everybody here," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "A lot of guys got to know him in Spring Training. He came up there and got to do something that's pretty rare in this game, to hit the first pitch you see over the fence. It was exciting and a big run against a guy who is off to a really good start. It kind of got the ball rolling for us."
Rosario made the start even though Kazmir, a lefty, was on the mound for the A's. But the left-handed hitter actually fared better against lefties at Triple-A, batting .286 against them in 35 at-bats compared to .217 in 60 at-bats against right-handers. And it showed with Rosario's homer to the opposite field on a first-pitch fastball.
"It was pretty cool," Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson said. "He got the silent treatment for a little bit. But after we congratulated him, he just sat on the bench. He just gets it. The only thing he said was, 'Man. What a moment.' And that's exactly what it was to hit a home run on the first pitch and have your family here to experience it."
Rosario, 23, had his parents, Eddie and Maria, in attendance for his debut, as they flew in from his native Puerto Rico. Molitor said that made it even more special for Rosario.
"To share it with family, that's what resonates with the emotion," Molitor said. "You think about where you came from and the people who helped you get here."