NEW YORK – In their 56-year history, Twins pitchers have allowed six or more home runs in nine different games. Yankees pitchers, on the other hand, have allowed 10 such power-strewn games — just in their home ballpark.
It opened in 2009. Yeah, new Yankee Stadium is a bit of a bandbox.
“This park is definitely home-run friendly,” understated Twins manager Paul Molitor. “Every park’s got its quirks, and this one is homer-friendly, especially to right field.”
Still, the Twins weren’t downplaying the emotional benefits of so many home-run trots, especially after scoring only one run — on a Brian Dozier solo home run, naturally — one day earlier.
“We squared up a lot of balls in this series. That’s always nice,” Dozier said after smacking another home run on Sunday, giving him at least 10 for the fourth consecutive season. “I know we only had two hits through the first few innings, but a lot of outs were loud outs. You could feel” the Twins’ confidence growing.
Dozier’s two-run shot was quickly followed by Trevor Plouffe’s sixth of the season and Max Kepler’s third, the first back-to-back-to-back homers by the Twins since Chris Parmelee, Oswaldo Arcia and Eric Fryer managed it against the White Sox in 2014. Danny Santana and Juan Centeno also hit homers, the second of the season for each, and Eduardo Nunez reached double figures for the first time in his career.
Molitor noted that the four hit off Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi all came on different pitches. “Danny got a high fastball. Dozier hit a split, Plouffe hit a slider, and Kepler hit a curveball,” he said. “So kind of a mixed bag there.”
The Twins closed the season series with the Yankees having won only two of seven games, but hit 13 home runs — or 15.7 percent of their season total — and, oddly, outscored New York, 30-28.
Sano rusty in Rochester
Miguel Sano went 1-for-5 while serving as designated hitter on Sunday for Class AAA Rochester against Louisville, singling once and grounding into a pair of double plays. He’s 1-for-9 in three rehab games so far, and looks “rusty, as you would expect after missing a month,” according to General Manager Terry Ryan.
Sano will play at least two more games in Rochester, Molitor said, returning to third base on Monday and playing right field on Tuesday. Then the Twins will evaluate whether he’s ready — but don’t be surprised if they give Sano, who strained his left hamstring on May 31, a couple of more games as well.
“He’s probably going to need at least a few more, three at minimum,” Molitor said. “He’s got to get his timing right. I’m not going to stick him up here if he’s not ready to hit major league pitching. Hopefully that’s sooner than later, because he makes a difference when you put his name in the middle.”
• Trevor May’s first rehab stint for Rochester didn’t go as well as he hoped on Sunday. The righthander, sidelined since June 9 by back spasms, faced four batters, hitting one of them and giving up a single, a wild pitch and a run. He also recorded a strikeout in his 17-pitch outing, but took the loss. May is scheduled to pitch again for the Red wings on Tuesday.
GM says he’ll trade
Ryan reiterated Sunday what he said during FSN’s broadcast the day before: That he’s determined to make some trades before next month’s deadline.
“We need to be active. We’re struggling here big time,” Ryan said. “Any team that’s in the situation we’re in right now, there will be a lot of attention on us. I don’t think there’s any doubt that other teams are tracking us to see what we’re going to do.”