Twins break MLB single-season home run record with one month left to play

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor

Of all the home run records that have or will soon fall in 2019, this might be the biggest.

The Minnesota Twins broke Major League Baseball's single-season home run record during Saturday’s 10-7 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Nelson Cruz was responsible for tying the record. His eighth-inning solo blast was No. 267 for Minnesota, which equaled the 2018 New York Yankees.

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One inning later, catcher Mitch Garver hit the record setter.

Overall, the Twins hit six home runs in Saturday’s game. It’s the tenth time this season they’ve hit at least five home runs in a game, which itself is an MLB record.

On pace to eclipse 300 home runs

In addition to breaking the league record, the Twins are also on pace to go where no one thought an MLB team could possibly go.

Entering play on Saturday, they were on pace to slug an astounding 317 home runs this season.

Of the 262 homers the Twins have hit so far, 142 have come on the road. That, too, is a record. The 2001 San Francisco Giants, led by Barry Bonds, held the previous record of 138. Minnesota blew by that number against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 29.

Power from behind the plate

Mitch Garver hit the Minnesota Twins 268th home this season, which broke the MLB single-season home run record set by the New York Yankees in 2018. (Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Mitch Garver hit the Minnesota Twins 268th home this season, which broke the MLB single-season home run record set by the New York Yankees in 2018. (Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Catcher is not typically a power position in MLB. The Twins trio of Mitch Garver (26 homers), Jason Castro (12) and Willians Astudillo (3) is doing its best to change that. The trio has combined for 41 home runs after Garver launched two more in Saturday’s game. Of that total, 39 have come while they were serving as catcher.

That set a new American League record. They’ll need four more to break the MLB mark.

Everybody's hitting

The Twins have not been known as a power-hitting team in recent seasons. In fact, over the last five seasons they've only averaged 171 homers per season. That put them middle of the pack in MLB during that stretch.

This season, an influx of new talent, like Nelson Cruz and C.J. Cron, combined with breakout seasons from returning hitters, like Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario, have contributed to the home run barrage.

In total, eight different Twins players have hit at least 20 home runs this season.

You guessed it. That, too, is a record.

Year of the home run

With Major League Baseball hitters poised to surpass the collective home run record of 6,104 set in 2017, it's no real surprise that the team record has been eclipsed.

The Twins being the team to do it would certainly qualify as a surprise. That they've managed to do it on Aug. 31 is also something nobody saw coming.

But that's baseball in 2019. Whether by design or by happenstance, baseballs are leaving the ballpark faster and farther than ever before. The Twins, it turns out, were the best equipped to take advantage of whatever it is that’s happening to the baseball.

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