Double damage: Cruz putting on a show, making twin bill history

Nelson Cruz, Twins designated hitter (⬆️ UP)

It’s ok to be continually amazed at what Cruz is doing even in a shortened season. On Tuesday, he homered in both games of Minnesota’s doubleheader against St. Louis. This is the third time this season Cruz had hit one out in each doubleheader contest, also turning the trick Aug. 15 at home vs. Kansas City and Aug. 29 at Detroit. The last players in Major League Baseball to have hit homers in both ends of a doubleheader three times in a season occurred in 1964, when Minnesota’s Harmon Killebrew and Cleveland’s John Romano both did it. Of course, Killebrew and Romano had nine innings to accomplish the feat; Cruz is playing in seven-inning games during doubleheaders. By the way, he’s the oldest player – Cruz is 40 in case somehow you’ve forgotten — to homer in each twinbill contest since 42-year-old Carlton Fisk did it for the White Sox in 1990. Oh, Cruz also led the Twins in average (.429), on-base percentage (.500) and slugging percentage (.714) last week.

 

Josh Donaldson, Twins third baseman (⬆️ UP)

Donaldson returned from the injured list last Wednesday, having not played since July 31. There was no rust. He had two hits in his first game back and finished the week going 6-for-19 (.316) with two doubles, two home runs, six walks and a hit by pitch (.500 on-base percentage), four runs and a team-high for the week six RBI. He also flashed some leather.

 

Brent Rooker, Twins outfielder (⬆️ UP)

A lot of congratulations are in order for the rookie who: 1. Made his MLB debut; 2. Got on base in his first plate appearance (HBP); 3. Recorded his first MLB hit; 4. Hit his first MLB home run. Rookie went 5-for-18 in his first five games, driving in five runs. Welcome to the show!

 

Miguel Sano, Twins first baseman (⬆️ UP and ⬇️ DOWN)

With Sano the highs are high and the lows are low. This past week he smashed three homers and a double, scoring six runs and driving in six. Just the kind of power and run production always expected of him. But he also struck out 11 times, including two games with the proverbial hat trick. Just all part of the Miguel Sano experience.

 

More Twins coverage

Dan Chisena, Vikings wide receiver (⬆️ UP)

When Chisena got moved from wide receiver to safety and then back to wide receiver just days later, it didn’t seem like a good omen for him. But the special teams standout made Minnesota’s initial 53-man roster. Who would have predicted that in a barely-any-offseason-no-preseason-games 2020? Also, it gives us an excuse to link to our story about him from this past summer one more time.

 

Vikings 2020 draft class (⬇️ DOWN)

OK, yes, it’s very early. But at the start of the season Minnesota doesn’t appear to be getting too much from it’s recent group of drafted rookies (we know this will change, calm down). No sixth- or seventh-round picks made the team – and there were six of them. Both first-round picks, cornerback Jeff Gladney and wide receiver Justin Jefferson, are both listed as backups on the initial unofficial depth chart. As is second-round pick offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland and third-rounder cornerback Cameron Dantzler. Linebacker Troy Dye is also second team, but there’s only five linebackers for three spots. Defensive linemen James Lynch and D.J. Wonnum and cornerback Harrison Hand are all third-stringers. Fifth-round pick wide receiver K.J. Osborn hasn’t cracked the three-deep, although he is listed as the team’s kick and punt returner. Special teams might be where it’s at for this draft class early on.

 

Damiris Dantas, Lynx forward (⬆️ UP)

The veteran, in her sixth WNBA season, continues to have the best year of her career. In four games this past week Dantas averaged 20.5 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 56.9% from the field and hitting 13 of 20 3-point attempts. On the season she’s averaging 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds – both career highs (she never has been in double figures in scoring) while making 43.0% of her 3-point attempts. Her 34 3-pointers lead the Lynx. She’s been a big reason why Minnesota has continued to flourish even with Sylvia Fowles out with an injury.