BALTIMORE -- James Dozier wasted no time hitting his first homer of the season in Sunday's 7-0 win over the Orioles, as he launched the first pitch of the game from right-hander Kevin Gausman into the left-field seats at Camden Yards. The Twins kept adding to their total with Miguel
BALTIMORE -- James Dozier wasted no time hitting his first homer of the season in Sunday's 7-0 win over the Orioles, as he launched the first pitch of the game from right-hander Kevin Gausman into the left-field seats at Camden Yards. The Twins kept adding to their total with Miguel Sano and Eduardo Escobar both going deep in the third and Dozier launching his second homer of 2018 in the sixth. That brings Minnesota's total to seven homers over the past two games.
Gausman's first pitch of the season was a 91.3-mph fastball on the inside part of the plate, but Dozier turned on it and hit it a projected 357 feet, per Statcast™, for this 28th career leadoff homer, which is a club record. Dozier is also tied with Jacque Jones for the Twins' all-time lead in first-pitch homers in his career with four.
"A lot of things go into that," Dozier said. "It's not just going up there and looking to swing or anything like that. I'm not going to tell you what those things are. But there's a process behind it."
The homer left the bat at 95.4 mph at a launch angle of 34 degrees, per Statcast™, and similar batted balls go for hits only 17 percent of the time. But Dozier hit it to the right part of the park and was rewarded with his 152nd career homer. His 153rd, also a solo shot, marked his eighth career multi-homer game and came on a 2-1 fastball after Gausman missed with two sliders.
"We took advantage," Dozier said. "He's a heck of a pitcher, but I think he had trouble with his off-speed [pitches]."
Sano crushed his second homer of the season and his second in as many days leading off the third, hitting an opposite-field blast on a 1-0 fastball in the outer part of the zone. It had an exit velocity of 110.3 mph at a launch angle of 23 degrees, traveling a projected 404 feet, per Statcast™. It was the 13th homer of Sano's career that had an exit velocity of at least 110 mph, and his first since Aug. 18, 2017.
Escobar, who had an RBI bloop double as part of a four-run first, joined the party with a solo shot to center in the third on a 1-1 splitter. His homer went a projected 427 feet, leaving the bat at 107 mph with a launch angle of 19 degrees, per Statcast™.
The last time the Twins hit at least three homers in back-to-back games came against the White Sox on Aug. 21-22, 2017. Max Kepler, Jason Castro and Sano homered on Saturday.
"It puts us on a pretty good pace," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Doz hitting the leadoff homer, which we've gotten somewhat accustomed to. I thought they were all just really good approaches. For Esco to stay on a changeup and hit it to center, and then Miggy going the other way, you know when he's hitting the ball over there with authority, he's in a pretty good place. You take the power."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.