Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco could have used a pinch runner after he delivered a third winning at-bat in four days that ended Wednesday afternoon's careening 8-7 victory over Cleveland in 11 innings.
As soon as his record-making, line-drive single scored catcher Ryan Jeffers with one out, teammates poured out of their Target Field dugout with bottled water in hand.
And the chase was on, as Polanco scrambled this way and that, trying to avoid a soaking.
"That's cold," he said.
His single that dropped at sliding Cleveland right fielder Bradley Zimmer's feet won a fourth consecutive series after the Twins had already beaten division-leading Houston, Tampa Bay and the Chicago White Sox.
"They are really fun," Polanco said in a postgame TV interview. "Everybody here's enjoying. The fans are enjoying it. It's so special for us."
On Sunday afternoon, Polanco's walkoff sacrifice fly beat the Rays 5-4. On Monday, his 10th-inning double down the right-field line beat Cleveland by the same score.
On Wednesday, he hit an 84 mph changeup that ended a game in which the Twins trailed 4-1 and 5-2, led 7-5 entering the ninth inning and seemed headed to victory not once but twice in the 10th.
"There was a lot to get through to get to that celebration," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "We had to do a lot of things well to get this win, and we got it. We got Polo coming up. I mean, what else would happen?"
The Twins walked a season-high 10 batters and used eight pitchers. Starter Lewis Thorpe left in the second inning after he walked the first three batters.
Cleveland scored a run in each of the first five innings, and came back to force extra innings even after the Twins' five-run fifth inning. Cleveland also twice made magnificent defensive plays in the 10th inning. Twins reliever Alexander Colome gave up two ninth-inning runs in blowing the 7-5 lead and a save.
And still the Twins won, even after Cleveland third baseman Ernie Clement robbed Luis Arraez of a certain winning hit with a leaping stab.
Thanks to Polanco, of course.
Each of the Twins' past three victories came in that walkoff style, the first time since 1987 they've done such a thing. It took three players — Al Newman, Billy Beane and Tom Brunansky — to do it then in September of a season headed to a World Series championship.
Polanco's lefthanded hit was his seventh career walkoff achievement, his fifth this season and, yes, his third in four days. Those five in a season match Kent Hrbek's team record set in 1987.
Polanco is the third player — and first Twin — since RBI became an official stat in 1920 to win three consecutive regular-season games with a walkoff RBI.
Arraez called Polanco's feats "amazing" and said, "He's a clutch guy. I'm happy for him because he works hard and he's killing it right now."
New reliever Ralph Garza Jr. arrived two weeks ago and might not be quite sure what he's seeing.
"He's on something special," said Garza, one of those eight pitchers used. "He might be putting up some history right now, honestly. Seeing it firsthand is something special."
First baseman Miguel Sano recalled his childhood with Polanco in the Dominican Republic, where their mothers worked together and they played together.
"He's a special hitter," Sano said after he turned the game with a leadoff fourth-inning blast 475 feet into the upper deck in right field. "In those moments he needs to take care of the team, he puts it on his back and he knows what he needs to do."
Baldelli has seen a lot in his career, but maybe not exactly this.
"I don't think I've ever seen this many late-inning, walkoff wins in this period of time," Baldelli said. "I mean, it's pretty awesome. Those normally are some of the most memorable moments of your season. You have a handful every year, but what we've been doing lately has been pretty special and a hell of a lot of fun."