DETROIT -- The Bomba Squad was out in full force on Sunday afternoon, June 9, in Detroit, searching for pitches they could hit and then laying down punishment.
Four home runs later and it had accomplished the mission with a 12-2 win over the Tigers in the series finale at Comerica Park. The blowout victory capped off a 10-game road trip, which included stops in Tampa Bay and Cleveland, with a 6-4 record.
Sunday’s game started much the same as Saturday’s with the Twins (43-21) taking a lead after the first two batters of the game produced a run. But from there, it sharply diverged.
Nelson Cruz hit his fourth home run in as many days and his 11th on the season. It was his 14th regular-season home run at Comerica Park, tying him with the Royals’ Alex Gordon for the most home runs among active visiting players.
“He’s just doing his thing and you see what happens,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “The way he impacts the ball is very unique, the certain pitches he can get the barrel to is unique. That’s why he’s one of the best hitters in the game.”
That capped an 11-pitch at-bat for Cruz and staked Jake Odorizzi to a three-run lead before he even toed the rubber. Three runs likely would have been more than enough for Odorizzi, who, coming into Sunday, had given up just three runs in his last seven starts combined.
But the Twins, instead, piled on.
“It happened really quickly and then to keep adding on, I think that’s what was the most important thing,” Odorizzi said. “Nobody’s intent was just three.”
Miguel Sano’s home run to lead off the fourth inning triggered a five-run outburst. By the top of the fourth, when Eddie Rosario singled, each member of the starting lineup had already recorded a hit. Two more homers — a two-run blast from Byron Buxton and a solo shot from Rosario — followed.
The 125 home runs the Twins have hit so far ties the franchise record for the most home runs hit before the All-Star break, set in 1964 in 81 games. It also puts the Twins on pace to hit about 316 on the season, which would be a major-league record.
“We got one of those good offensive days from our guys, up and down the lineup in basically every spot,” Baldelli said.
All that while Odorizzi was lowering his American League-leading ERA down to 1.92 with six innings of one-run ball. It marked his 10th straight start in which he had given up three or fewer runs.
The only run Odorizzi gave up to the Tigers (24-38) came in the first inning when Niko Goodrum, who had walked to lead off the first, scored on a double play ball.
Starting with the double play, Odorizzi went into cruise control, retiring 11 of 12. In the middle of that stretch, he retired five straight batters via strikeout. Odorizzi finished with eight of them in the game, picking up his ninth win of the season.
“I thought (catcher Mitch Garver) and I just kind of executed a game plan today and the rest is what they (the offense) did,” Odorizzi said.