Only a Tropicana Field speaker could slow Twins' record home run pace

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor

For only the fourth time in 29 May games, the Minnesota Twins did not hit a home run during Friday's 5-3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the Twins weren't officially credited with a home run.

Slugging infielder Miguel Sanó surely hit a baseball hard enough and high enough to be a home run. But an obstacle prevented it from leaving the ballpark and perhaps the state of Florida.

That obstacle being a speaker hanging from the roof at Tropicana Field.

At the time of Sanó’s blast, the Twins and Rays were tied in the eighth inning. Had it not hit the speaker, the Twins would have taken the lead there and then.

Instead, the inning was over. That’s because Sanó was also ruled out after the deflected baseball landed in the glove of Rays’ shortstop Willy Adames.

Yes, that is actually part of the complicated ground rules at Tropicana Field, which you can read and attempt to decipher here.

In the game’s official play-by-play, it only says “Miguel Sanó popped out to shortstop. End of inning”

The old saying “it’ll look like a line drive in the box score” certainly doesn’t apply here.

Fans weren’t happy

Not surprisingly, Twins fans were quick to criticize Tropicana Field for its many quirks. And by criticize we mean call for its immediate demolition.

One even cited a previous Sanó would-be homer that proved costly for Minnesota. Our records show he was the first batter to hit the actual roof in a game.

The Twins were a longtime dome team too, playing at the Metrodome from 1982 until 2009. That ballpark wasn’t exactly perfect for baseball. Though there were fewer baseballs to hit the roof, players lost a lot of flyballs while trying to track them in the light ceiling.

Twins find another way to win

The roof may have thwarted one Twins rally. But the resilient Twins still found a way to win.

Eddie Rosario’s ninth-inning two-run single proved to be the difference for Minnesota. The victory improved their record to 38-18, which is the top mark in the American League.

Record home run pace

Where this would-be home run might show up more is in the Twins final tally.

The Twins are currently on pace to shatter the league single-season home run record, which the New York Yankees set by hitting 267 blasts last season. In fact, they’re on pace to be the first MLB team to ever hit more than 300 home runs in a single season.

With one or perhaps both of those landmarks within reach, every home run will count.

It’s also interesting to note that MLB also set a single-month record in home runs in May. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays hit the record-setting 1,120th home run. The Twins hit 56 of those home runs, and have 106 overall this season.

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