Cruz clears 880 feet on 2 blasts in twin bill

August 15th, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sometimes, when makes solid contact, you just know. The other team's outfielder turns, but there's no need to give chase. The only question is where in the stands the ball will finally return to earth.

On Saturday, that answer was a projected 448 feet away from home plate after Cruz got all of a hanging fastball from Kansas City reliever Tyler Zuber and smashed it off the facing of the third deck in left field at Target Field. The blast gave the Twins a lead they would not relinquish in a 4-2 victory to open a doubleheader, following Friday night's rainout.

Cruz wasn't done. A matter of hours later in the second game, Cruz mashed another big homer, this time to straightaway center field off Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy, as Minnesota attempted to rally in a 4-2 loss.

This one traveled a projected 432 feet and hit off the limestone facing of the second deck above the batter's eye. The blast, Cruz's sixth of the season and 47th as a member of the Twins, tied him with Eddie Rosario for the team lead.

In the first game, Cruz swung hard and took five slow steps out of the batter's box as he watched the pitch soar high above left fielder Alex Gordon. His fifth homer of the season and 46th as a member of the Twins had an exit velocity of 114.4 mph, marking his hardest-hit dinger since he arrived in Minnesota before the 2019 season.

It was his eighth-hardest homer since Statcast started tracking in 2015, and his hardest since June 11, 2018.

Cruz, 40, has actually hit five home runs in his Twins career with a longer estimated distance than Saturday's 448-foot blast. The longest of the bunch was a 478-foot round-tripper on Aug. 3, 2019 -- coincidentally, off Duffy.