CLEVELAND – Byung Ho Park on Friday became the first Twins player with a multi-home run game this season when he hit a solo shot and a two-run homer against the Indians. It came on a night in which the Twins set a season high with four homers.
Park’s solo home run in the second inning, estimated at 458 feet by MLB.com’s statcast, gave the Twins a 2-0 lead at the time. Then his second homer, a two-run shot to left in the third inning, gave the Twins a 4-2 lead.
“I wasn’t looking for certain pitches at the time,” Park said of his two home runs. “I was just working on my timing, and my timing was decent.”
The Twins needed one more long one from him in the ninth inning, but he struck out with two men on to end the game in a 7-6 loss, their eighth in a row.
Park is the fourth Korean-born player to hit two home runs in a MLB game, joining Jung Ho Kang, Shin-Soo Choo and Hee-Seop Choi. He’s also the first Twin with a multi-homer game at Progressive field since Chris Parmelee on June 22, 2013.
Park now leads the Twins with nine home runs and tops all American League rookies. Colorado’s Trevor Story leads the majors with 11.
Miguel Sano and Eduardo Nunez also homered for the Twins, the first time they hit four homers in a game since last July 24 against the Yankees.
Support for Jepsen
There doesn’t appear to be any momentum toward removing Kevin Jepsen as the closer.
Jepsen has a 5.40 ERA and has given up runs in each of his past two outings. First batters are hitting .308 against him. In his last outing Tuesday, he appeared to lose confidence in his breaking ball, focused on fastballs and ended up giving up the winning hit to Adam Jones — granted it was on a ball that Oswaldo Arcia misplayed in left field.
“I think when the results are as his have been, it will get your attention,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I think he’s got more experience out there in doing what he’s doing than people I can consider. Right or wrong, I would like to get him into a save situation here.”
• Righthander Trevor May confirmed he has been fined for hitting White Sox slugger Jose Abreu with a pitch May 6 in Chicago. Abreu objected to being hit enough for the benches to empty, forcing umpires to restore order. May said he had appealed and hoped to learn the ruling within a week.
• Twins General Manager Terry Ryan is visiting Class AA Chattanooga this week to evaluate prospects.
• Kyle Gibson (shoulder) threw in the bullpen Friday and likely will need a couple more sessions before he’s ready for a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
• Closer Glen Perkins (shoulder) played catch Friday and is making progress.