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Revisit the Bombas: Twins' top HRs of 2010s

@dohyoungpark
December 26, 2019

Seventy-one players hit at least one home run for the Twins during the past decade. In light of the Twins finishing it off by improbably breaking baseball's single-season home run record with a 307-homer show in 2019, it's a fun exercise to go down the list of those players, from

Seventy-one players hit at least one home run for the Twins during the past decade. In light of the Twins finishing it off by improbably breaking baseball's single-season home run record with a 307-homer show in 2019, it's a fun exercise to go down the list of those players, from most homers to least.

Nineteen players hit at least 30 homers for the Twins from 2010-19, with Ryan Doumit (32) serving as the cutoff. Enjoy the nostalgia elicited by the names of other double-digit finishers further down the rankings, like Chris Parmalee (24), ByungHo Park (12), Josmil Pinto (11) and Pedro Florimon (10).

At the bottom of the list, 11 players hit exactly one round-tripper as a Twin in the decade: Zack Granite, John Ryan Murphy, Jordan Schafer, Sam Fuld, Kendrys Morales, Jamey Carroll, Alex Presley, Rene Rivera, Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris and, of course, the Shredder himself, Nick Punto.

None of those guys made it onto this list of the top 10 Twins homers of the decade. But still, it's fun to reminisce.

1. Garver's blast gives Twins all-time record
Date: Aug. 31, 2019

As the Twins showed off their newfound power throughout the 2019 campaign, the question stopped concerning _if_ the Twins would break the single-season record of 267 homers, and instead became a matter of when. The answer, as it turned out, was Aug. 31, when the Twins officially entered the record books even before the final month of the season began. The "Bomba Squad" clubbed six homers that day -- hitting five or more long balls wasn't exactly a rarity for the Twins -- with a series of blasts from Mitch Garver, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz. Finally, in the ninth inning, Minnesota stood alone atop the list when Garver crushed his second shot of the night, a Statcast-projected 402-foot blast to left field. Still, the Twins lost to the Tigers, 10-7.

2. Thome provides first walk-off shot at Target Field
Date: Aug. 17, 2010

This one fell far short of reaching the bar in the center-field upper deck at Target Field, an area that is still unofficially referred to by broadcasters as "Thome Territory." Still, the blast proved one of the most memorable in the recent history of the Twins. Minnesota trailed the division rival White Sox by one run in the 10th inning before Delmon Young reached base with a single to bring Jim Thome to the plate in the 20th season of his Hall of Fame career. Left-hander Matt Thornton hung a fastball on the inner half, and "Gentleman Jim" sent Target Field into a frenzy when he sent the pitch into the right-field plaza for the first walk-off homer in Target Field history.

3. Sanó's grand slam crushes Cleveland's division hopes
Date: Sept. 14, 2019

The Indians entered the season as the odds-on favorites to win their fourth consecutive division title, but the new generation of Twins, heralded for so long, finally arrived in full force in 2019 and turned that narrative on its head. The Twins had the Tribe on the ropes in mid-September, when Minnesota entered a three-game series at Progressive Field with a 3 1/2-game lead. A rain delay forced the Twins to piece together a doubleheader with two bullpen games, but a young relief corps outdueled Mike Clevinger in Game 1 and Miguel Sanó removed any doubt late in the nightcap with a first-pitch grand slam off reliever Nick Goody. The slam was the first of Sanó's career and capped a five-run, come-from-behind rally in the eighth inning that all but ended Cleveland's chances at winning the American League Central.

4. Thome reaches 600-homer mark
Date: Aug. 15, 2011

Only nine players in Major League history have hit 600 or more home runs, and Thome was wearing a Twins uniform when he joined that exclusive club. The slugger hit 37 of his 612 long balls as a member of the Twins, and two of those came on that August night at Comerica Park to complete the march to the milestone. He first hit a solo shot to left-center field off Rick Porcello in the sixth inning for No. 599. Thome came up again one inning later, with runners on the corners, and snuck a breaking ball from left-hander Daniel Schlereth over the left-field fence for the historic shot. Thome received a long standing ovation from Tigers fans who were all too familiar with his historic career, spent mostly in the American League Central.

5. Rosario extends Twins' lead in AL Wild Card Game
Date: Oct. 3, 2017

The 2017 AL Wild Card Game was a thrilling high for Twins fans for about one half-inning before things went awry. But still, that top of the first was captivating in the moment as the Twins sucked the energy out of Yankee Stadium by scoring three runs with a pair of homers off New York starter Luis Severino. Brian Dozier led off the game with a solo shot to left-center, and after a walk by Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario crushed a line drive onto the short-right-field porch to net the Twins an early 3-0 lead. Two more Minnesota hits chased Severino from the game before Chad Green notched a pair of strikeouts to end the frame and -- well, you know the rest.

6. Dozier's walk-off grand slam
Date: July 15, 2018

Such an eventful game deserved to end in a flourish. Hosting the Rays to close out the first half, the Twins blew leads in the seventh and eighth innings and the benches cleared twice, but at the end of it all, in the 10th inning, Brian Dozier gave the home crowd at Target Field a rare treat when he crushed a Matt Andriese offering into the left-field bleachers for the fifth walk-off grand slam in Twins history to cap an 11-7 win. It was the Twins' first walk-off slam since Joe Crede hit one against the Tigers in 2009.

7. Kepler victimizes Bauer in five consecutive plate appearances
Date: July 13, 2019

What do Max Kepler, Carlos Delgado and Frank Howard have in common? They're the only players in the expansion era (since 1961) to dominate one opposing pitcher with homers in five consecutive at-bats. Kepler was the only one to hit all of those blasts in one season -- much to the bemusement of his victim, Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer. Kepler clubbed homers in all three of his at-bats against Bauer on June 6 and returned to Progressive Field a month later with another leadoff homer and another blast in the second inning, leaving Bauer staring blankly into the distance. It's not as though he was sitting on one pitch, either: The five homers came on a fastball, changeup, slider, fastball and curveball.

8. Rosario announces big league arrival
Date: May 6, 2015

Rosario's flair for the dramatic became evident just one pitch into his career. Two days after he was called up from Triple-A Rochester for the first time, Rosario was slotted into the No. 8 slot in the lineup and came to the plate for his first at-bat, in the third inning. He took a big hack at the first pitch he saw from A's left-hander Scott Kazmir and lifted an opposite-field homer into the left-field bleachers to become the first player in Twins history to go deep on his first pitch in the Major Leagues. Rosario got the silent treatment from his teammates upon his return to the dugout before the celebration began in earnest.

9. Dozier sets second-base home run record
Date: Sept. 22, 2016

The 2016 campaign in Minnesota was a largely forgettable one as the Twins finished 59-103 to secure the worst record in club history. One of the few bright spots was Dozier, who was by far the best hitter on an otherwise middling offense thanks to a historic show of power. Dozier reached the high-water mark of his career with 42 homers in 2016, with 40 of those blasts coming as a second baseman, setting a new American League record. The record-breaking shot came off Tigers right-hander Aníbal Sánchez in the first inning of a late-September contest at Target Field. With one more homer, Dozier would have matched Davey Johnson's record of 43 homers in a season while playing primarily second base.

10. Vargas caps Twins' record-breaking start to game
Date: Sept. 12, 2017

No home-run article would have been complete without a Kennys Vargas mention.

Hitting seven homers in a game is a celebrated feat for most teams. The 2019 Twins might have considered it just another day at the office. For the 2017 Minnesota squad, it represented Major League history. Facing the Padres at Target Field, the Twins clubbed homers in each of the first seven innings, becoming the first team in history to do so in a 16-0 drubbing of San Diego. Dozier, Polanco, Jason Castro (2), Rosario, and Eduardo Escobar went deep before Vargas stepped to the plate in the seventh against Padres reliever Cory Mazzoni and crushed a 3-2 offering into the upper deck in right-center to complete the feat.

Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.