FORT MYERS, FLA. – Eddie Rosario was 1-for-3 with a home run on Thursday during the Twins’ 10-4 loss to the Nationals, a drive that released different emotions from the left fielder.
There was surprise, as Rosario got hold of a Austin Voth pitch in the fourth inning and sent it to right center. Rosario was jogging to first base when the ball deflected back to the playing field. Rosario then shifted into high gear and raced to third.
There was pain, as Rosario landed hard on the ground as he slid into third and, according to manager Rocco Baldelli, hurt his hand momentarily.
Then there was elation, when he finally got back to his feet and was informed that umpires had indeed signaled that he hit a homer. Rosario thrusted his hands toward the sky and sprinted toward the plate with his third home run of the exhibition season. Fans laughed at the delayed reaction.
“We tried to tell him that it was a home run, and we tried to make sure that he was OK,” Baldelli said.
Baldelli was prepared to replace Rosario if he was really banged up.
“As soon as he heard, ‘home run,’ and it actually sunk in, he was not going to have any of that,” Baldelli said. “Ultimately, he was fine and he said he was OK”
Mitch Garver and Trevor Larnach also homered for the Twins. Larnach, the Twins first round pick in the June draft last year, powered a ball to the opposite field.
Lefthander Martin Perez struggled with keeping the ball down and gave up home runs to young guns Juan Soto and Victor Robles. Perez gave up five earned runs over four innings on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts.