A prodigious second-half display of power by Nelson Cruz made history on Sunday afternoon.
The Twins slugger hit a solo homer off Royals reliever Gabe Speier in the fourth inning at Target Field to become the 57th member of the major league 400-homer club. The palazo made Cruz the ninth Dominican-born player to achieve such an event, joining compatriots Albert Pujols, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramírez, David Ortiz, Adrián Beltré, Vladimir Guerrero, Edwin Encarnación and Alfonso Soriano.
Several of his Twins teammates, such as Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario, Venezuelan Marwin González and Dominican Miguel Ángel Sanó, climbed to the top of the dugout to receive Cruz, who was also recognized by a resounding applause from the crowd that filled the dugout. stadium for the last home game during the regular season.
"When I was little I never thought I was going to hit so many home runs," Cruz said earlier this week. "It's definitely a wonderful thing to be a part of baseball history. I suppose that what one has is to go year after year, and always improving ».M
The historic swing also helped Cruz reach 40 home runs this season and become just the 26th player in MLB history with at least four seasons of 40 or more home runs, having reached that mark in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Cruz is also the third Twins player to hit 40 home runs in a single season, joining Brian Dozier and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.
Finally, Cruz is only the third player to hit 40 home runs at the age of 39. The others are Barry Bonds and Cooperstown member Hank Aaron. MLB