ST. PETERSBURG -- Before Friday, Eddie Rosario's parents had only seen him play once in the Majors. The outfielder made his big league debut on May 7, 2015, with his parents, Eddie and Maria, sitting in the stands at Target Field. Rosario came to the plate for the first time in the third inning and launched the first pitch he saw over the fence for a home run.
More than a year later, Eddie and Maria flew from their native Puerto Rico to St. Petersburg to see their son play for the second time. This time, they were in town for a full weekend series at Tropicana Field, and Rosario wasn't in the lineup for the first game against the Rays. In the seventh inning, though, manager Paul Molitor needed a lefty. He called on his second-year outfielder.
The first pitch Rosario saw this time was an 82-mph changeup. He was looking for something off-speed, and he sent this one over the right-center field fence. He rounded the bases and pointed to the crowd as he crossed home plate. His parents have now seen him twice. Both times, they've also seen a first-pitch home run.
"They see me again today," Rosario said, "the first pitch again."
Rosario's home run, his second pinch-hit homer of the season and third of his career, also provided the winning blow for Minnesota in its series-opening 6-2 win against Tampa Bay.
His parents will get to see him a few more times this weekend, and that bodes well for the Twins. After collecting six hits in three games against the Indians earlier this week, Rosario continued his hot streak. After his homer, he also singled and went around to score during the ninth.
"I was just hoping for a hit to maybe get even, and he gave me more than I could ask for," Molitor said. "He's coming off a good series in Cleveland. He stepped up and did a nice job for us."
David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.