Twins Stat of the Day: May 2021

May 31st, 2021 is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Twins this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

May 31: Twins 3, Orioles 2 -- Berríos' eight-plus innings
José Berríos continued to dominate the Orioles in Monday's win at Camden Yards. While tossing the longest outing by a Twins pitcher this season (eight-plus innings), he allowed just one run on five hits. It is the third time in Berríos' career that he has pitched eight or more innings where he gave up one or fewer runs.

May 30: Royals 6, Twins 3 -- Larnach maintains keen eye
With so many outfielders on the injured list, the Twins are getting an extended look at their outfield of the future with Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach -- and early returns are promising. In addition to Kirilloff notching his first career three-hit game, Larnach drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning, giving him 12 walks this season, tied with Doug Mientkiewicz for third-most in Twins history through a player's first 20 career games. They trail only Rich Becker (17) and Miguel Sanó (16).

May 29: Twins 6, Royals 5 -- Make it 2 million
All the way back in 1876, Tim McGinley of the Boston Red Stockings was credited with the first official run scored in MLB history. It took until 1975 for Bob Watson of the Houston Astros to bring that tally to 1 million. And on Saturday, Josh Donaldson added himself to that page of MLB's record books by scoring the 2 millionth run in big league history, as confirmed by John Thorn, the official historian of MLB. Donaldson touched the plate on an RBI double by Nelson Cruz in the first inning.

May 28: Royals 8, Twins 3 -- Garver's streak rolls on
Mitch Garver's fourth-inning solo homer not only was the second-hardest hit of his career, but it also extended his hitting streak to seven games, matching a stretch from Aug. 16-23, 2018. The backstop owns a 1.456 OPS during this streak, including two homers and seven walks. His season OPS is up to .829 after having started the month at .623.

May 26: Twins 3, Orioles 2 -- Sanó homer leaves in a hurry
Miguel Sanó's three-run homer had an exit velocity of 114.1 mph, his hardest-hit ball this season. Four of his nine home runs have either tied the game or put the Twins ahead.

May 25: Twins 7, Orioles 4 -- Refsnyder makes big first impression
Byron Buxton could soon be back in the Twins' lineup, but emergency center fielder Rob Refsnyder might give the Twins' decision-makers a lot to think about come roster crunch time. Following his two doubles and homer in a win over Baltimore, Refsnyder is hitting .438 (14-for-32), the third-highest average in club history in a player's first 11 games with the Twins. He trails only Tim Teufel (.450 in 1983) and Bobby Darwin (.439 in 1972).

May 24: Twins 8, Orioles 3 -- Larnach's moonshot lands in exclusive area
The Delta SKY360 deck above the center-field batter's eye at Target Field was built in 2016, six years after the stadium opened, and since then, only seven players have launched a baseball into that area. Rookie outfielder Trevor Larnach, ranked the club's No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, became the seventh with a Statcast-projected 461-foot blast in the third inning off John Means, the longest homer by a Twins player since '19. Larnach joined ByungHo Park, Miguel Sanó, Jake Cave, Tyler Austin, Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson as the only players to deposit a ball to that level.

May 23: Twins 8, Indians 5 (10) -- HR halts extra-innings misery
The Twins have made it clear since they acquired Kyle Garlick off waivers that they brought him in to mash left-handed pitchers. Facing one of the toughest righties of them all in James Karinchak, he came through anyway. His three-run blast in the 10th inning was the 29-year-old's first career home run off a right-handed pitcher, and it finally broke the Twins' winless record in extras following an 0-8 start in such games. The 2021 Twins were the first team to start a season 0-8 in extras since the '12 Astros.

May 22: Indians 5, Twins 3 (10) -- Kirilloff stretches hit streak
Think the Twins missed rookie Alex Kirilloff while he was sidelined with a right wrist sprain? The outfield prospect, ranked No. 20 overall by MLB Pipeline, tied the game in the sixth with an RBI single off Shane Bieber, extending his hitting streak to nine games. That's one shy of the Twins' longest hitting streak of the season, shared at 10 games by Byron Buxton and Nelson Cruz.

May 21: Twins 10, Indians 0 -- Nine-run inning rocks Cleveland
The Twins scored nine runs in the fourth inning, which was the first time they've scored that many in an inning since Aug. 20, 2017, when they plated nine in the opening frame against the D-backs. The last time they scored nine or more runs in an inning against Cleveland was on Aug. 6, 2012, when they put up a 10-run second inning.

May 20: Twins 6, Angels 3 (Game 2) -- Sanó likes doubleheaders
Miguel Sanó's first-inning grand slam in Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader in Anaheim was the second of his career. The first came on Sept. 14, 2019, at Progressive Field -- also in the second game of a doubleheader, that time against Cleveland.

May 19: White Sox 2, Twins 1 -- Cruz eyes Winfield's HR mark
Nelson Cruz was the only Twins hitter who wasn't completely run over by Lucas Giolito, as the 40-year-old designated hitter accounted for both Minnesota hits with a homer and solid single. That big fly was his 26th since his 40th birthday, giving him the second-most homers in club history after turning 40, behind only Dave Winfield (31). The blast to center was the 427th of Cruz's career, moving him into a tie with Mike Piazza for 50th on MLB's all-time list.

May 18: Twins 5, White Sox 4 -- Thrice as nice for Sanó
Even considering his prodigious power to all fields, Miguel Sanó had never hit three homers in a game until he singlehandedly carried the Minnesota offense back from a four-run deficit with two blasts off Lance Lynn and a game-tying shot off Aaron Bummer. He powered his way to the 13th three-homer game in Twins history, and the first since Nelson Cruz hit three against Kansas City on Aug. 3, 2019.

May 17: White Sox 16, Twins 4 -- Astudillo's eephus gets crushed
Utility man and self-proclaimed Cy Young Award candidate Willians Astudillo got another chance to showcase his "gasolina" from the mound in the ninth inning of Minnesota's blowout loss -- and Yermín Mercedes interrupted his campaign for the hardware by crushing a 47.1 mph floater over the center-field wall, marking the slowest pitch tracked by Statcast to be hit for a homer. Astudillo made his third career pitching appearance, matching John Moses for second most by a position player in Twins history behind Chris Gimenez.

May 16: A's 7, Twins 6 -- A first for Refsnyder
When the Twins placed Jake Cave on the 60-day injured list, their experienced center field depth on the roster started and stopped with Max Kepler. When Kepler exited Sunday's game after tweaking his hamstring on the basepaths, Rob Refsnyder had to step up. The longtime journeyman entered in the ninth inning to man center field, marking his first Major League appearance at the position in 183 big league games.

May 15: Twins 5, A's 4 -- Sanó spurs big comeback
In one of several inexplicable elements of the Twins' 2021 offense, the lineup struggled late in games in particular and hadn't overcome a deficit of more than one run in a win throughout the season -- until now. Miguel Sanó's three-run, go-ahead homer in the eighth inning spurred a four-run frame and a comeback from a 4-1 hole, which also marked the first time Minnesota came back from a deficit in the seventh inning or later in 2021.

May 14: A's 6, Twins 1 -- Astudillo caught... looking?
It's already enough of a surprise when Willians Astudillo strikes out, considering he has the second-highest contact rate on his swings in all of baseball among players with at least 300 plate appearances since his 2018 debut. But a strikeout looking? That's uncharted territory. It was, anyway, until Frankie Montas froze "La Tortuga" with a fastball on the outside corner in the second inning, marking the first called strike three of Astudillo's Major League career.

May 13: White Sox 4, Twins 2 -- Pineda and solo homers
Despite being among the most consistent pitchers on Minnesota's staff, one thing does plague Michael Pineda: home runs. With two more homers allowed against the White Sox, Pineda has now allowed eight -- all solo shots -- in just 38 2/3 innings this season. Out of his seven starts in 2021, Pineda has allowed at least one long ball in five and two home runs in three.

May 12: White Sox 13, Twins 8 -- Cruz continues South Side domination
When Nelson Cruz crushed a first-inning solo blast off Dallas Keuchel that traveled a projected 423 feet to left-center field, the White Sox were all too familiar with that sight. In fact, Cruz has the third-most homers against the Sox among all active players, with 22, trailing only Miguel Cabrera (39) and José Ramírez (25).

May 11: White Sox 9, Twins 3 -- Polanco's power returns
It had been nearly nine months since the Twins last saw Jorge Polanco homer batting left-handed, but he finally showed off his power from that side again with a solo blast off Dylan Cease that traveled a projected 378 feet to right field. It was his first homer as a lefty since Aug. 30, when he was still struggling with pain in his right ankle that impacted his left-handed swing in particular.

May 8: Tigers 7, Twins 3 -- Donaldson launches one
Josh Donaldson knocked in all three Twins runs, going 2-for-4. His two-run home run in the fifth inning not only tied the game, but it also registered as the hardest- and farthest-hit ball of the game. The home run had an exit velocity of 113.1 mph and traveled a projected 425 feet, according to Statcast, to left-center field.

May 7: Twins 7, Tigers 3 -- Shoemaker shines vs. hometown team
Matt Shoemaker, a Detroit-area native, has allowed four earned runs over 50 2/3 innings -- for a 0.71 ERA -- in his career when facing his hometown Tigers.

May 6: Rangers 4, Twins 3 (10) -- Gordon off to a running start
Nearly seven years after he was selected in the 2014 MLB Draft, former first-round pick Nick Gordon finally made his big league debut -- and had no trouble showing off his tools. He walked and singled in his first two plate appearances and stole second base each time, becoming the first player in Twins history -- and only the 13th in MLB since 1901 -- with multiple steals in his debut.

May 5: Rangers 3, Twins 1 -- Garver blasts off
Mitch Garver is trying his best to put the memories of his rough 2020 -- and slow start to '21 -- behind him. His redemption tour continued with an upper-deck blast to left field off Hyeon-Jong Yang that traveled an estimated 429 feet and left his bat at 110.7 mph, marking the hardest-hit homer of his career. He has four homers in his last five games -- including the second- and third-hardest blasts of his career, too.

May 4: Rangers 6, Twins 3 (10 innings) -- Buxton lays out
Byron Buxton may make some of these diving snags look routine at this point, but don't be fooled. In the seventh inning of the Twins' loss to Texas, he raced to his right and sprawled for a grab with a catch probability of 25 percent -- good for a five-star snag. It was his fourth catch of the season with a catch probability of 50 percent or lower, the most in the Majors. He has 44 such catches since 2016, tied for fourth-most in baseball with Lorenzo Cain and Kevin Kiermaier.

May 3: Twins 6, Rangers 5 -- Buxton swipes record
Byron Buxton was named the American League Player of the Month following an offensive outburst in April, but he reminded everyone that his calling card has always been his speed. His steal in the sixth inning made him 66-for-75 (88 percent) on stolen-base attempts in his career (and 4-for-4 in 2021), moving him into a tie with Tony Campana for the highest such percentage in MLB history among players with 75 or more tries.

May 2: Twins 13, Royals 4 -- Seven-run outburst
After having trouble stringing together hits for much of the season, the Twins sent 11 men to the plate and scored seven runs in the third inning of their blowout win against the Royals, powered by homers from both Andrelton Simmons and Mitch Garver. It marked their first time scoring seven or more runs in an inning since Aug. 20, 2019, when they brought home seven runs in the eighth inning of a win over the White Sox.

May 1: Royals 11, Twins 3 -- Kirilloff goes deep again
A day after hitting his first two career homers, Alex Kirilloff provided one of the few bright spots for the Twins' offense in a lopsided loss with another blast, an estimated 432-foot shot to the bullpens in left-center field. The Twins' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline now has three homers, the third-most by a Twins player through the first 10 games of his career behind Graig Nettles (five in 1968) and Gary Gaetti (four from 1981-82).