Carroll breaks one heck of a drought

The last time Jamey Carroll homered, he was wearing a

Cleveland Indians uniform — in 2009. Since then, he played two homerless

seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was without a home run through 120

games (411 at-bats) with the Minnesota Twins this season.

On Monday, Carroll’s homerless drought ended.

On a 2-2 count from White Sox starter Hector Santiago, Carroll connected on a

95 mph pitch and homered into the Chicago bullpen in left-center field. It was

his first home run since Aug. 9, 2009 — a span of 1,348 at-bats.

“First and foremost, I’m excited to go out there and see my son,”

Carroll said after Minnesota’s 4-2 loss on the road, which his family was able

to attend. “He’s been known to let people know, even though he’s only

four, that I don’t have enough energy or I’m not strong enough to hit homers. .

. . You just try to help the team win. It’s exciting. We all had fun with it in

here. But at the same time, we like to go home with the ‘W,’ of course.”

The 1,348 at-bats between home runs was the longest active homerless streak in

all of baseball. Now that Carroll has snapped his homerless drought, the

longest in baseball is Kansas City’s Chris Getz with 918 at-bats; he hasn’t

cleared the fence since July 7, 2009. Minnesota outfielder Ben Revere is second

on the homerless list — he has yet to homer since making his major league debut

on Sep. 7, 2010, a stretch of 884 at-bats after Monday’s game.

Carroll’s solo homer Monday also came in the same ballpark in which he hit his

last home run back in 2009. In that game with Cleveland, Carroll went deep off

Scott Linebrink in the top of the seventh inning for a solo shot. And it was in

Chicago that Carroll made his MLB debut back on Sept. 11, 2002 with the

Montreal Expos against the Cubs.

“It’s a proud moment in my family,” Carroll said. “It’s fun that

my brothers and my dad got to be here, and my wife and my kids. And it happened

in Chicago, where my first game was. It was a special day.”

Carroll’s homer Monday landed in the White Sox bullpen, and Twins left fielder

Darin Mastroianni ran over to the bullpen to retrieve the milestone baseball at

the end of the fifth inning. Carroll was also greeted by plenty of high-fives

and smiles in the Minnesota dugout.

While the homer came in a Twins loss, it still capped a special night for

Carroll. His 13th career homer Monday came on the same day in which he reached

10 years of major league service time.

“Ten years in the big leagues is special,” Twins manager Ron

Gardenhire said of Carroll. “He’s a game-on type player. He plays hard all

the time, so it was really fun in the dugout when he hit that homer.”

Of the 13 homers Carroll has hit in his 10-year career, only two have come with

runners on base. He has hit one grand slam in his career, back in 2007 with

Colorado against the Chicago Cubs.

Entering Monday’s game, Carroll was batting .255 with a .336 on-base percentage

and a slugging percentage of .297. The 38-year-old Carroll signed a two-year

contract with the Twins this past winter. Minnesota is the sixth team of his

career — he spent three years with the Montreal Expos, one with the Washington

Nationals, two with Colorado, two with the Indians and the two with Los Angeles

Dodgers before joining the Twins this year.

After Carroll’s homer Monday, the Twins couldn’t muster much else on offense.

Minnesota scored one more run in the eighth inning but couldn’t overcome an

early deficit.

Still, it was a day to remember for Carroll.

“It’s not fun to lose, and I’m sure I’ll go home with the loss,”

Carroll said. “But in time, I’ll be able to look back and understand and

appreciate what this day is all about.”