Lewis makes Twins, MLB history with 4th grand slam of '23

September 16th, 2023

CHICAGO -- The big moments always seem to find .

The slugging rookie belted his fourth grand slam of the season in the Twins’ 10-2 victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday evening. Lewis’ grand slams and impeccable season continues as Minnesota inches one step closer to an American League Central title.

  • Games remaining (14): at CWS (2), at CIN (3), vs. LAA (3), vs. OAK (3), at COL (3)
  • Standings update: The Twins (78-70) hold an 8-game lead on the Guardians (70-78) for the AL Central title. Cleveland clinched the tiebreaker by winning the season series, 7-6. Minnesota is currently the third-best division winner, meaning it would host a best-of-three Wild Card Series vs. the final Wild Card entrant starting on Oct. 3.
  • Magic number: 7 (for AL Central)

“He's enthusiastically taken the field ready to play every single day,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “This guy is capable of a lot of different things. Like everyone at times, you find yourself enjoying watching him play. It's a pleasure to watch him play.”

With the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning, Lewis worked a 3-1 count against White Sox starter Jesse Scholtens. He then took a fastball down the middle and blasted it to deep left field for his fourth grand slam of the season and fifth of his career. 

The rookie let his teammates -- who were in disbelief in the dugout -- know about it as he held the number five on his fingers as he rounded first base.

“It’s just surreal right now watching him do his thing,” starter Bailey Ober said after allowing two runs across five innings. “He loves this game so much, and you can see it when he’s out there, and he loves playing and seems to find the moment every single time he’s up there and he’s coming through right now.”

Lewis has been no stranger to these situations over his short 66-game career. The grand slam on Friday gave him his 16th career homer, which makes him the first player in MLB history to hit five grand slams in his first 16 home runs.

The rookie also set a Twins franchise record on Friday with his fourth grand slam this season, all coming in the past 18 games. He hit one in back-to-back games on Aug. 27 against the Rangers and Aug. 28 against the Guardians.

Lewis also crushed one en route to a six-RBI night on Sept. 4 in Cleveland. Then, Friday capped off another impressive slam from the 24-year-old.

“I’m absolutely amazed,” Baldelli said. “I’ve never seen anybody do anything like this in my life ever on any level, high school baseball, college, anything. I’ve never seen anyone do that. That’s just amazing.”

His four grand slams in 18 games are the shortest span in which a player has hit four grand slams in MLB history. Lewis passed Don Mattingly (39 games) in 1987, Travis Hafner (44 games) in 2006, Jim Northrup (45 games) in 1968, and Ralph Kiner (48 games) in 1949-50 for the shortest span to hit four grand slams, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

“These guys are putting me in great situations,” Lewis said. “I’ve moved up and down the lineup. … Wherever it may be, the guys in front are just having great at-bats, and as a team, when you do that, we put up runs, and so just giving myself a good opportunity to do so.”

Lewis’ incredible slam on Friday continues to show the type of hitter he is when healthy. With his 1-for-2 day with four RBIs and three walks, the rookie is slashing an absurd .302/.365/.545 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs in 54 games in the Majors this season.

“Honestly I like the walks today," Lewis said. "That was huge for me. [The] grand slam was like a cherry on top early. It was really fun.”

Lewis has been red-hot at the plate recently, entering the day with a .323 average and .943 OPS in his previous 45 games. The rookie also leads the Majors in RBIs since Aug. 23 (33) and has belted 10 homers over those 22 games, including three in the past five contests.

He has missed time this season as he recovered from his ACL tear in 2022, and an oblique strain suffered in July. But now that he is fully healthy, Lewis is showing his value to a Twins team on the brink of a postseason berth.

“It’s the best,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, we can get it done sooner rather than later, get some guys some rest, and just look forward to the playoffs. But at the moment, we’ve got to focus on winning the division. And it’s been fun.”