The Twins’ 128 home runs last season were 19th most in baseball. If some players continue to trend in the right direction they could easily surpass that mark in 2015.
Tuesday’s game against Baltimore was a time when that seemed possible, as the Twins clubbed four home runs, then held off Baltimore 10-9. Trevor Plouffe hit a solo shot in the second, Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run homer in the fourth, Kennys Vargas clobbered a three-run home run to right-center in the fifth and Eduardo Escobar hit a grand slam to straightaway center in the sixth.
The Twins led 10-1 at one point, but Baltimore battled back against Brian Duensing, Mark Hamburger and Michael Tonkin to get within 10-9.
“The game kind of lost its sanity there in the middle,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Blaine Boyer had to come in for Tonkin to get the final out of the eighth inning. Boyer gave up a leadoff single in the ninth but got the save.
Plouffe’s home run cleared everything in left field and was his first home run of spring training. He hit just 14 home runs last season but his 56 extra base hits easily were a career high. Plouffe is viewed as a seat-holder for Miguel Sano but, at 28, has made himself into a solid player.
Nunez, fighting for utility role on the team, “has surprising power,” Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said before the game. And Nunez showed it when he connected off Bud Norris.
Vargas’ homer was a no-doubter — and off the end of the bat. That’s a testament to someone who is 6-5 and 289 pounds.
Escobar took advantage of more playing time last season to hit a career high 35 doubles. He doesn’t get cheated on a swing, as evidenced by his blast off T.J. McFarland.