Despite leading Major League Baseball with 177 home runs, the Minnesota Twins had not had a pinch hit home run all season long–until Thursday night. That is when Eddie Rosario came into the baseball game in the bottom of the seventh inning and delivered a massive 414 foot home run with Luis Arraez and Miguel Sano already on base. With one swing of the bat a 3-1 Oakland Athletics lead turned into a 4-3 Twins lead.
Then after Rosario took Yusmeiro Petit deep, the Twins got two more home runs in the ninth inning from Mitch Garver and C.J. Cron, en route to a 6-3 win over one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics. The Twins victory snapped a six game winning streak for Oakland.
What Rosario was able to achieve was something special. It is extremely difficult to come off the bench in Major League Baseball late in a game and deliver a hit, let alone a home run. When it happens it can boost a team’s morale just like Kirk Gibson did for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 and Ed Sprague did for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 when they hit memorable pinch hit home runs for their teams during the World Series.
The win was very as important for Minnesota. Heading into their game against Oakland, the Twins had lost their last three games. They lost one game to the Cleveland Indians before losing both games in a mini two game series against the upstart New York Mets.
It will be interesting to see how much confidence the Twins are able to build from the win. The reason why they lead the American League Central by four games over the Cleveland Indians is because of their ability to hit the long ball.
Minnesota’s depth also came through on Thursday. That is because nine different Twins recorded a hit with shortstop Ehire Adrianza the only Twins player not to get on base via the hit.
Even though the Twins have allowed Cleveland to get back into the division race, (the Indians have won five straight), a four game lead over your division rival is significant. The Indians are in the process of wondering if they intend to contend or rebuild. The longer Cleveland figures things out from a baseball standpoint, the longer this should benefit the Twins.