DETROIT (AP) – Nelson Cruz hit a drive just foul down the line in right field, narrowly missing a grand slam.
The play was reviewed and the call was upheld – but Cruz could have saved everyone some time if he’d known what would happen on the very next pitch.
Cruz cleared the bases with a home run – this time pulling the ball to left – and the Minnesota Twins were well on their way to a 15-6 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
“I think a lot of guys hit foul homers and then get emotional,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “You don’t normally see guys do that back to back.”
Cruz added a solo homer and a double, and Matt Shoemaker held Detroit hitless into the fifth inning.
Akil Baddoo hit a grand slam for the Tigers in the ninth, but by then the game was well out of hand. The 22-year-old made his big league debut Sunday and homered on the first pitch thrown to him.
Cruz came up with the bases loaded in the second and the Twins already up 2-0. After his near miss, he connected to cap a five-run inning. Minnesota added five more runs in the fifth, when Cruz hit his solo shot.
Limited to pinch-hitting duty in Minnesota’s opening series at Milwaukee, Cruz was back in his normal role with the return of the designated hitter to the Twins’ lineup. After hitting his two homers, he doubled and scored in the sixth.
Cruz hit a towering fly in the ninth that was caught on the warning track.
Shoemaker (1-0) held the Tigers without a hit until Wilson Ramos homered with two outs in the fifth. He allowed three hits in six innings with five strikeouts and earned his first victory since April 9, 2019, before he was beset by injuries.
Detroit sends RHP Casey Mize to the mound for his first start of the season Tuesday. The No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, Mize arrived in the majors last season but is still seeking his first win. LHP J.A. Happ is set to start for the Twins.