MINNEAPOLIS -- During last year’s truncated season, Minnesota Twins pitchers allowed fewer home runs than every team in baseball. This season, no pitching staff has allowed more.
So in a game in which Twins pitchers gave up 17 runs, it would seem likely that at least a few came via the longball, right?
Twins pitchers did not allow a home run Wednesday, outhomering the Tigers 7-0 on Wednesday at Target Field and still losing 17-14 in a game that took more than four hours.
“I don’t know what to make of the stat,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “… Once a game like that ends, you kind of just want to end it and say, ‘I haven’t seen anything like that before.’”
Of course, in a game as wild as Wednesday’s, there was no shortage of oddities that came up.
For example, the Tigers’ 17 runs were the most they have scored in a game without a home run since July 23, 1961 against the Kansas City Athletics when they also scored 17 runs.
A new note for the record books the Twins would like to forget: They became the fourth team since 1901 to hit seven home runs in a nine-inning game and still lose, joining the 2016 White Sox, 2004 Tigers and 1995 Tigers.
For the Twins, it was just the fifth time in club history that they’ve hit grand slams in back-to-back games, and the first time the feat was accomplished by catchers — Mitch Garver on Tuesday, Ryan Jeffers on Wednesday. Not only that, it’s the first time in Twins history that two catchers have hit grand slams in the same season.
Jeffers homered twice Wednesday, as did Miguel Sanó. Max Kepler and Brent Rooker went back-to-back for the second time in four days, and Jorge Polanco added a home run in the ninth inning of the loss.
The Twins hit four home runs during a six-run eighth inning — Kepler, Rooker, Sanó and Jeffers — for the first time since 1992. Back then, it was Shane Mack, Kirby Puckett, Randy Bush and Kent Hrbek in a game against the Yankees.
“We play a ton of baseball games and (this one) didn’t feel like, really, any of them that I’ve seen throughout the years and we’ve seen some crazy ones,” Baldelli said. “I’m not surprised that there’s some odd facts popping out from that effort, from what we just saw.”
Relief pitcher Taylor Rogers visited another doctor on Wednesday morning but the Twins are still waiting for another opinion to publicly discuss decisions about his next steps. Rogers suffered a sprain of his left middle finger on Monday. … Baldelli said Mitch Garver came in swollen and stiff on Wednesday after getting hit the previous night with a pitch on his right hand, but was doing OK. X-rays were negative.