Twins’ offense takes a historic step forward

The Minnesota Twins focused on powering up their offense last winter.

Nelson Cruz was the front office’s most notable acquisition, but he wasn’t their only get.

More Twins coverage

The Twins also added Marwin Gonzalez, C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop — those four hit a combined 104 homers last season — to an offense that ranked sixth in the American League last year with 738 runs scored.

A few months later they lead MLB with 925 runs scored and recently became the first team to hit 300 home runs.

It’s one of the largest year-over-year scoring increases in recent history.

The Twins are averaging 5.79 runs per game this season, up from 4.56 a year ago, an increase of 1.23 runs per game. It’s the fifth-largest such increase in MLB since 1980.

Season Team Previous Season Runs/Game Diff.
1999 Arizona Diamondbacks 4.10 5.60 1.50
1993 San Francisco Giants 3.54 4.99 1.45
2004 Detroit Tigers 3.65 5.10 1.45
2000 Chicago White Sox 4.80 6.04 1.24
2019 Minnesota Twins 4.56 5.79 1.23

Plenty of those runs have come at the expense of the Kansas City Royals. The two teams open a three-game series Friday night, the Twins’ final set of the regular season.

Cruz has 26 RBI against Kansas City this year. No player has ever had more against the Royals in a single season. Miguel Sano isn’t far behind. He’s currently tied for fourth with 23 RBI against the Royals.

Other notes:

— Second baseman Luis Arraez is up to 32 hits this month . Only four rookies in Twins history have had more in the month of September.

Jose Berrios, the Twins’ starter for Friday’s opener, has struggled in the second half, but he’s one of just four American League pitchers with at least 20 quality starts this year.

— Kansas City’s Jorge Soler is tied for the AL lead with 45 home runs, and has accounted for a whopping 28.3% of the Royals’ 159 home runs this season.

Statistics courtesy of Sportradar