Terry Tiffee’s only been in the majors a few days, but he’s already making people remember his name.
Since being called up Sept. 1, Tiffee is hitting .462 (6-for-13) with one homer and four RBIs in four games. On Saturday, he led off the bottom of the ninth with his first major league home run to lift the Twins to a 4-3 victory.
Tiffee, who went 3-4, hit a 2-2 pitch from Dennys Reyes over the left-field fence to give the Twins their eighth straight win at home.
The 25-year-old third baseman said he hit two game-winning home runs earlier this year, including a ninth-inning grand slam to win a game at Triple-A Rochester.
“But before that, I’d never hit one, so I don’t know what’s going on,” he quipped. “I’m just confident in my ability and I just try to let that take over.”
Tiffee is only in the lineup because of an injury to regular third baseman Corey Koskie, who sprained his ankle Aug. 27.
Twins rookie Jason Kubel, Tiffee’s teammate at Rochester this season, said he’s not surprised to see Tiffee play the hero on a bigger stage.
“He’s a great hitter, and he’s been doing this all year,” said Kubel, who made his first start Saturday. “It’s nothing new for me. I expect it from him. He’s always calm, and he just knows what he needs to do and how to fix things when he needs to.”
The two-time defending Central champions are 29-18 since the All-Star break.
Justin Morneau put the Twins up early Saturday with a three-run shot in the first inning off rookie starter Mike Wood. It was Morneau’s 17th homer of the season and 15th since he was recalled from Rochester on July 16.
The AL-worst Royals have lost 12 of their last 16 and are 29 1/2 games behind the Twins. Kansas City, which was in first place in the division as late as Aug. 30 last season, has gone 16-33 since the break.