The Twins sure brought their bats to Target Field for Tuesday night's game against the Padres. They won in a rout, 16-0, and reached unprecedented slugging heights in Major League history by homering in each of the first seven innings.
Manager Paul Molitor was grateful for the long ball frenzy. "It's fun. It's loud. There weren't too many cheapies," he said to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. "We've had a nice season with power and the balance is pretty spread out."
So, what better way to honor this feat than ranking the best of the blasts? Six Twins hit these seven home runs, but only one can be the leader in the clubhouse.
7. Jason Castro, 3rd inning, 355 feet
The Twins were already up by a 7-0 margin in the third when their catcher connected. He hit it in just the right spot, an opposite-field shot almost straight down the left-field line and into the shrubs above the wall. The homer didn't travel particularly far, but bonus points for effort go to the fan in the Byron Buxton jersey who almost fell onto the flowers unsuccessfully trying to fetch the souvenir.
6. Brian Dozier, 1st inning, 368 feet
Dozier provided the thesis to Tuesday night, setting the tone from the get-go with a leadoff home run to the right-field grandstand, his 30th of the season. The slugging second baseman led the team in long balls last year with 42, and he's doing it once again.
The reason for all the homers on Tuesday was simple to Dozier. "Hitting is contagious," he said. "I know it's a boring answer, but it is. Tonight with such a big lead, everyone got more comfortable in the box and you feed off each other."
As for the picture the Twins posted on Twitter afterward? "We were flexing in it. It's all about having fun and that's what we're doing right now."
5. Eddie Rosario, 4th inning, 390 feet
Travis Wood allowed the Twins' first three homers of the night, but with Jose Valdez in the game in the fourth, Rosario made sure that he would be granting dingers as well. He crushed a pitch that just seemed to carry ... and carry ... and carry ...
... all the way out.
4. Jorge Polanco, 2nd inning, 403 feet
Dozier's leadoff blast set the tone, but Polanco's second-inning shot was the one that pretty much ensured that it would not be a good night for the Padres. It was only 1-0 entering the second, but by the time Polanco batted, the Twins had a 5-0 lead. Thanks to a Polanco laser straight down the left-field line a few pitches later, it was 7-0, and there was really no turning back -- a slugfest was in progress.
Polanco was just happy to be part of the party. "When you see those balls going out every inning, you get happy and excited," he said. "There was a lot of excitement in the dugout today and a cool thing to be a part of."
3. Jason Castro, 5th inning, 406 feet
Castro was the only hitter with two entries on the Twins' Tuesday night home run hit parade, and it was truly an excellent offensive night for him. His second roundtripper gave him a team-high four RBIs and nine total bases on the day. At the time, the 406-foot homer was their longest of the game, but remarkably, two of his teammates usurped him.
2. Eduardo Escobar, 6th inning, 419 feet
Escobar hit perhaps the most majestic drive of the game, as the 35-degree launch angle of this clout off Cory Mazzoni sent it soaring into the Minnesota night, just beyond the "Great Clips" sign. Coincidentally, it made a great clip of its own.
1. Kennys Vargas, 7th inning, 424 feet
The Home Run King of the night didn't even start the game. Vargas entered in the top of the seventh inning at first base to give Joe Mauer a few innings off with a big lead, but he did quite a bit more than just play the field. It shouldn't be a surprise that Vargas' homer was the longest, as it also had the highest exit velocity of all of them at 111.3 mph off the bat.
Molitor called Vargas' monster shot "kind of an exclamation point," and it looked like it, too:
Vargas probably knew it, too, as he celebrated with a devious smile: