The Minnesota Twins held off the New York Yankees for the single-season record for home runs in a season as part of their regular-season finale on Sunday.
Throughout the 2019 season, the Minnesota Twins have been known for their muscle. As the only team with eight players with 20 or more home runs in a single season, the Twins were the first time in MLB history to break the 268 home run mark set by the New York Yankees last season and the first to reach 300 home runs in a season earlier this week.
Despite all the milestones, the Twins still had to fend off the Yankees to claim the single-season home run crown. With both teams swinging for the fences, the Twins needed a big effort in their regular-season finale and got it, hitting three home runs against the Kansas City Royals to bring their final total to 307, just one more than the Yankees total of 306.
In Sunday’s game in Kansas City, the Twins used a fast start to help catch up to the Yankees, hitting a pair off the bats of C.J. Cron (25th of the year) and Jake Cave (eighth) to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
The Royals would have an answer, however, playing in manager Ned Yost‘s final game before retiring after this season. Jorge Soler chipped into the lead with his American League-leading 48th home run of the season in the first inning and Erick Mejia would lace a RBI double and Nick Dini would hit a RBI single to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Twins would re-take the lead in the following inning as Jason Castro‘s 13th blast of the year pushed them ahead of the Yankees for good and gave them a 4-3 lead.
The advantage wouldn’t last long however as the Twins bullpen helped protect the lead into the eighth. With Lewis Thorpe pitching, Ryan O’Hearn would drive in Hunter Dozier on a double to tie the game up and Brett Phillips would hit a sacrifice fly off Brusdar Graterol to send Yost off into the sunset as a 5-4 winner.
Still, the Twins have bigger goals this season and they’ll continue when they open the American League Divisional Series against the Yankees on Thursday night.