Twins Tuesday: Hicks earns praise from all over for catch
MAY 14, 2013 7:54p ET
Following Monday's 10-3 win over the visiting White Sox, Hicks' phone was busy. He said he received around 80 text messages and around 15 voicemails from friends and family wanting to chat with him about his breakout game.
There was someone else who reached out to Hicks on Tuesday after Monday night's game: Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter. Twins fans know that Hicks' catch Monday night against the wall was similar to some of the catches Hunter used to make during his time in Minnesota.
Hunter tweeted: "@AaronHicks31 that was a great day u had yesterday. That catch was sweet big dawg. U look like somebody I know — this Guy: @toriihunter48"
Hicks has looked up to Hunter during his time in the Twins' minor league system and got to meet Hunter when Detroit was in town earlier this season. But the shout-out on twitter was another neat moment between the rookie and the veteran.
"It feels good, especially since he said it reminds him of him," Hicks said Tuesday. "They actually showed me some video of him when he was in the Metrodome and made a catch similar to that. It was pretty cool."
Hicks said the Twins also showed him some tape of another center fielder who used to make leaping catches at the wall: Kirby Puckett. Of course, Puckett's most famous catch came in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series when he leapt at the wall to rob the Braves of extra bases. Hicks had just turned two years old earlier that month, so he doesn't exactly remember Puckett making the catch.
"I've definitely seen the video, right after he robbed the guy and then hit the home run the next at-bat," Hicks said. "It was definitely pretty cool."
Hicks' catch came in the top of the sixth inning with two outs. Dunn sent a ball to deep center field, and Hicks timed his leap perfectly to snag the ball over the top of the wall. Had Dunn homered, it would have tied the game at 5-all. Instead, Hicks helped Minnesota preserve a two-run lead.
"There was a lot of Torii Hunter in that catch," said Twins general manager Terry Ryan.
Entering Tuesday, Hicks is batting just .152. Monday was his first multi-hit game of the season, let alone his first multi-homer game.
Now the question is whether Monday's breakthrough can serve as a springboard for Hicks the rest of the season.
"It can be. It all depends on day-by-day," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The thing in baseball is you can't take it with you. You play a game, it's over with. You've got to turn around and play the next night. It's about consistency, and he understands that part of it. You've got to turn the page and move on, but confidence is a huge part of baseball. Right now I would imagine as the season goes here, his confidence has got to be as a peak (compared) to everything else he's gone through, so that's a good thing."
Minnesota's offense keeps rolling in May: The Twins' offense exploded for 10 runs in Monday's 10-3 win over the visiting White Sox. That double-digit output came one day after Minnesota was shut out by Baltimore in Sunday's series finale.
Despite that shutout, and thanks in part to Monday's outing, the Twins have now scored the most runs in all of baseball this month with 74. Minnesota also has 118 hits in May, which ranks second in the majors behind Detroit (120).
Catcher Joe Mauer has also found plenty of success this month. He's currently on a 12-game hitting streak and is batting .465 this month, which leads all major league batters.
Makeup date set: The Twins announced Tuesday that their game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that was postponed on April 17 has been rescheduled for Monday, Sep. 9 at 6:10 p.m. at Target Field. The Twins and Angels had a mutual off day that day.
Now that the makeup game has been set for that day, Minnesota will not have an off day after Sept. 5, a span of 24 straight games to close out the regular season.
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