Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe haven't both homered in every game recently. It just seems that way. Still, the actual number of times they have both gone deep is quite remarkable.
Since June 4, the duo has homered in the same game six times -- and on the same day seven times, counting the June 30 doubleheader in which they homered in different games. In the process, they have helped the Twins inch back toward respectability (Minnesota is 7-1 in the dual-homer days, counting the doubleheader) while at the same time waging an enjoyable back-and-forth race for the team home run lead. Plouffe is ahead 19-18 at the moment; here is a quick look at the circumstances from the days in which both have gone deep.
• June 4: Willingham hit a two-run homer in the first inning (No. 11 on the season) to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. Plouffe hit a solo shot in the fifth for a 7-4 lead. Final outcome: 10-7 victory over the Royals.
• June 12: Plouffe hit a two-run homer in the first (No. 10). Willingham created some distance with a 426-foot solo blast in the sixth, extending his team lead with his 12th homer. Final outcome: 11-7 victory over the Phillies.
• June 13: Plouffe homered in the second (No. 11), but Willingham responded with No. 13 in the sixth. Final outcome: 9-8 loss to the Phillies.
• June 24: Plouffe temporarily took sole possession of the team lead with his 15th home run in the fifth inning, but Willingham answered with a dramatic, two-run, game-winner, also his 15th, in the ninth. Final outcome: 4-3 victory over the Reds.
• June 30: Plouffe again took sole possession of the team lead with his 16th homer in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Willingham again matched him with his 16th in Game 2. Final outcome: Doubleheader sweep of the Royals.
• July 1: The best of the back-and forth. Plouffe took the team lead with his 17th homer in the second inning. Willingham tied him with his 17th in the sixth inning, but Plouffe hit his second of the game in the same inning to take back the lead with 18. Final outcome: 10-8 victory over the Royals.
• July 3: Willingham again tied Plouffe for the team lead with 18 homers, launching a two-run blast in the third inning. But later in the inning, Plouffe responded with his 19th, also a two-run blast. Final outcome: 8-6 victory over the Tigers.
|Minnesota - LP: V. Worley||3||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: P. Maholm||8|
|Cincinnati||4||Top 8th Inning|
|Los Angeles||7||Top 8th Inning|
|Oakland||1||Top 6th Inning|
|Arizona||0||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Washington - G. Gonzalez||2:45 PM|
|San Francisco - M. Bumgarner|
|Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson||3:37 PM|
|Toronto - M. Buehrle|
|Chicago Cubs - J. Samardzija||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - F. Liriano|
|Detroit - J. Verlander||6:05 PM|
|Cleveland - U. Jimenez|
|NY Yankees - H. Kuroda||6:05 PM|
|Baltimore - J. Hammel|
|Seattle - B. Maurer||6:05 PM|
|LA Angels - C. Wilson|
|Philadelphia - C. Lee||6:10 PM|
|Miami - K. Slowey|
|Boston - C. Buchholz||7:10 PM|
|Chicago WSox - H. Santiago|
|Kansas City - J. Shields||7:10 PM|
|Houston - J. Lyles|
|St. Louis - T. Lyons||9:10 PM|
|San Diego - B. Smith|