Twins slugger hits historic home run during loss

Published 3:45 pm Saturday, August 30, 2014

BALTIMORE — Trevor Plouffe probably won’t ever be revered as one of the Minnesota Twins’ iconic sluggers, yet he will always be able to look back on one historic swing that earned him a place in the team record book.

Plouffe hit the 10,000th home run in franchise history Friday night, arguably the lone bright spot in Minnesota’s 9-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Twins contributed 7,214 of those homers after the Washington Senators hit 2,786 from 1901-1960. Only 16 franchises in baseball history have hit as many as 10,000 home runs.

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“It would have been better in a victory, obviously, but for me it’s a cool thing,” Plouffe said. “I was at the right place at the right time. The one man largely responsible for most of those, Harmon Killebrew, he was a great man. He was great to me when he was around, and I think this is more like his thing than mine.”

Killebrew hit 573. Plouffe has 11 this season and 59 overall.

Plouffe’s seventh-inning drive came after the last-place Twins had fallen behind the AL East-leading Orioles 9-0.

Minnesota rookie Trevor May (0-4) gave up eight runs on six hits, including a grand slam to Chris Davis.

Making his fifth career start, May retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. Then things went bad in a hurry in the fourth inning.

The right-hander gave up a single and hit two batters with pitches before walking J.J. Hardy to force in a run. Davis then drove a 3-1 pitch into the right-field seats, the first homer allowed by May in his brief career.

That took the edge off those first three outstanding innings.

“You saw great stuff,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “The ball would come out of his hand with an angle, a great changeup in some good situations, a nice little breaking ball. You know what? He was pretty much running through their lineup. A really, really good lineup over there. But, you know, it’s more than three innings, and he’ll have to figure it out.”

In the fifth, Delmon Young hit a two-run drive that glanced off the glove of left fielder Jordan Schafer into the glove of a fan in the front row of the seats.

That ended May’s night. He finished with eight strikeouts, one more than he had in his first five big league appearances combined.

But he also yielded eight runs, a career high.

“Two pitches accounted for six of those runs,” he lamented.

Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez (7-7) allowed one run and four hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking one. With the exception of Plouffe, he permitted only one runner to get past first base.

Baltimore’s fourth win in five games was marred by an injury to first baseman Steve Pearce, who left with a right abdominal strain. He will have an MRI on Saturday to determine the extent of the injury.


Twins: The Twins ended their run of six straight games without a home run.

Orioles: Pearce’s career-high 11-game hitting streak ended. He grounded out in his only at-bat before leaving the game.


Twins: Kyle Gibson (11-10) makes his 36th career start, first against the Orioles, on Saturday night. In his last outing, the right-hander yielded five runs in 4 2-3 innings against Detroit.

Orioles: Chris Tillman (11-5) starts for Baltimore. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 6.06 ERA in four career starts against the Twins.


Pearce drifted near the stands in pursuit of a foul pop by Plouffe in the second inning. He leaned into the front row, leaped to make the catch and ended up taking a seat on the concrete border.