Recent Twins surge fueled by emerging star Eddie Rosario

Published 7:54 am Tuesday, June 5, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With Eddie Rosario dug in the dirt for Minnesota in the ninth inning of a tied game and one runner on, his arms wiggling the bat as they hovered over home plate, the 2-1 fastball from Cleveland closer Cody Allen came in chest high at 94 mph.

Most players would’ve let that pitch go.

Rosario let it rip.

Email newsletter signup

The ball soared over the 23-foot wall above right-center field, and Rosario exuberantly raced around the bases with his right arm and right index finger extended Sunday in celebration of a walk-off Twins win on his third home run of the afternoon.

“I’ve seen a lot of good days in the big leagues, but I don’t know if I’ve seen one that was more dramatic than that as far as the first inning all the way through the end,” said 61-year-old Twins manager Paul Molitor, whose Hall of Fame playing career lasted 21 seasons.

Rosario’s homers in the first and seventh innings also gave the Twins the lead on their way to a third straight victory over the division-leading Indians. For extra effect, the proud native of Puerto Rico had his parents and two brothers in the seats along with his wife and their three children.

“Whatever happens in the game, homer, double, base hit, I’m going to play hard,” Rosario said. “Sometimes you feel like you’re going to have a good game. But today, everything happened. Sometimes you try to hit homers, and today I hit three homers. That was special.”

One-third of the way through an unpredictable season for the Twins, headlined so far by several setbacks and some bad luck leading to a losing record for the last six weeks, the emergence of Rosario as their best everyday player has fittingly been a bit of a surprise too.

Center fielder Byron Buxton and third baseman Miguel Sano have long been the organization’s most-heralded prospects.