Royce's fourth homer matches Kirby for Twins' single postseason mark

October 12th, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS -- It’s Royce and Kirby, then everyone else.

clearly wasn’t ready to go home -- and how could he ever have wanted a postseason like this to end?

In the rookie sensation’s first taste of October, Lewis had already stamped his name in the Twins’ record books. His first-inning solo blast of a must-win Game 4 that briefly gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, marked his fourth of the playoffs, tying him with Kirby Puckett (1991) for the club record for most homers in a single postseason.

Entering the game, teams with a first-inning homer had a 5-0 record this postseason. But the Astros had an immediate answer with Michael Brantley’s solo blast off Joe Ryan in the second inning, and, ultimately, they sent the Twins into the offseason with a 3-2 loss on Wednesday night at Target Field.

Only six games into Lewis’ postseason career, he has already matched Puckett’s best single-season playoff output. Lewis also moved into a tie for second on the club’s all-time postseason home run leaderboard, matching Greg Gagne, now only one shy of the five that Puckett hit across two World Series championship runs in 1987 and '91.

“I think everybody saw how good Royce Lewis is, right?” Edouard Julien said. “It felt like every time he was at the plate, something's going to happen, or he's going to hit a home run, because he's that good. That's what we expect out of him. It's crazy to say, but he's just that good at baseball. I'm glad we have him on our team. I can't wait to see what the future holds for him.”

All of Lewis’ blasts this postseason have come at significant times, but this might have been the most important considering the circumstances. After Julien’s leadoff double to begin the game, he was caught off the bag on Jeremy Peña’s highlight-reel unassisted double play on a line drive.

But Lewis immediately wrested the momentum back with the blast that gave the Twins the immediate advantage in a game Minnesota needed to win to force a decisive Game 5 in Houston behind ace Pablo López -- but they couldn’t finish the job, and it just left Lewis hungrier than ever to keep building on this postseason legacy.

“I think [the team’s growth is] obviously very exciting,” Lewis said. “At the moment, I'm just worried about saying bye to everybody and giving them a hug and telling them that I'm going to miss them for a couple of months. Just a little vacation. Hopefully, we'll be able to go deeper in the postseason next year.”