MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brian Dozier served notice last season when he hit 42 home runs. Miguel Sano showed his power this year at the All-Star Home Run Derby.
The rest of the Minnesota Twins are showing they can hit the ball over the fence as well.
Jason Castro homered twice, Dozier was a double from the cycle and Minnesota pounded the San Diego Padres 16-0 on Tuesday night.
The Twins hit a season-high seven home runs, setting a Target Field record for most homers in a game, to back another strong start from Kyle Gibson (10-10). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Twins set a major league record by homering in each of the first seven innings with Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario, Eduardo Escobar and Kennys Vargas adding to the total.
“It’s fun. It’s loud. There wasn’t too many cheapies,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of the record-setting streak. “We’ve had a nice season as far as power and the balance is spread out.”
Eight players have hit double-digit homers this season for the Twins, who maintained their hold on the second wild card spot in the American League. Castro’s two homers gave him nine this season.
Dozier led off the bottom of the first with his 30th of the season to the opposite field. He became the first second baseman since Dan Uggla from 2007-11 to reach 30 homers in consecutive seasons and just the fifth Minnesota player to do so.
“Hitting’s contagious,” Dozier said. “I know that’s kind of a boring answer for you, but it is. Especially nights like tonight when you kind of get a comfortable lead, everyone gets more comfortable in the box. You feed off one another. It was a good night.”
Minnesota’s surge back into contention after slipping in July has been driven by one of the league’s best offenses. The Twins are second in the majors in runs scored since the All-Star break and have averaged 6.15 runs per game since the start of August, despite Sano and his 28 home runs out of the lineup since Aug. 20.
Travis Wood (3-6) surrendered nine runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings for San Diego, which had won three of its past four games. Wood has given up 15 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings over his last four starts.
Padres Manager Andy Green withheld any decision on Wood’s future in the rotation.
“We’ll figure that out as we go,” Green said. “I don’t ever really talk about that postgame. Just evaluating the game today, it was the same thing it’s been; Down the middle mistakes. His margin for error is clearly small, and they’re swinging the bats really well.”
GIBSON DOES HIS PART
The Twins scored 14 runs for Gibson in his start on Sept. 2 and he’s settled in with big leads. He gave up four runs and struck out six on Tuesday, and has allowed two runs or fewer in five straight starts.
BLOOD CLOT ENDS CAPPS’ SEASON
San Diego announced Tuesday that right-handed reliever Carter Capps suffered a blood clot, which will end his season. Capps had been feeling pain in his right side and went to a hospital in Minnesota on Monday night.
Green said he hopes Capps, who had a 6.57 ERA in 12 1/3 innings this season for the Padres, will be able to return for the 2018 season. Capps is unable to fly and will stay in Minnesota until he’s cleared to head back to San Diego.
The team selected the contract of right-hander Cory Mazzoni from Triple-A El Paso.
Padres: OF Jose Pirela was out of the lineup on Tuesday as he deals with a finger injury. Pirela was going to visit with a doctor locally for further testing with Green hoping he’ll be able to play Wednesday.
Twins: Sano (left shin stress reaction) participated in batting practice on the field on Tuesday. Molitor said Sano is “inching” closer to a return but there is still no timetable. Sano didn’t run on Tuesday after doing some running drills on Monday. Molitor said Sano could return before he’s able to play third base if he’s able to swing the bat.
Ervin Santana (15-7, 3.45 ERA) starts Wednesday for Minnesota as the teams wrap up the two-game series. Santana pitched a shutout in San Diego on Aug. 2. The Padres start rookie right-hander Dinelson Lamet (7-7, 4.32), who has a 2.55 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 53 innings through his last nine starts.
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