StaTuesday: History of every Twins walk-off homer at Target Field
Minnesota Twins fans were treated to walk-off homers on consecutive nights last week at Target Field, thanks to the electric bats of Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario.
There have been 50 walk-off plays at Target Field, scored like this: 23 singles, four doubles, three off errors, two sacrifice flies, one triple, one walk and one hit by pitch.
And 14 of them have been majestic walk-off home runs, with three coming in 2017.
To celebrate Rosario’s and Buxton’s feat, we assembled all 14 Twins walk-off homers at Target Field.
You’d expect a few names to be on this list: Brian Dozier (the all-time leader of Target Field walk-off blasts, by the way), Justin Morneau and even Jim Thome.
But Oswaldo Arcia? Chris Parmelee?
Put your Twins memory to the test with our compilation of all 14:
July 18, 2010
Final Score: Twins 7, White Sox 6 (10 innings)
Hero: Jim Thome
Situation: Chicago scored a run in the ninth to tie the game and another in the top of the 10th to take a 6-5 lead. Delmon Young led off the bottom half with a single, and Thome, playing in his first year with the Twins, launched a deep fly ball to right field that might have landed in St. Paul for the first walk-off win by homer in Target Field history.
May 29, 2012
Final Score: Twins 3, A’s 2
Hero: Josh Willingham
Situation: Oakland hurlers Jarrod Parker, Jerry Blevins and Grant Balfour held the Twins scoreless through eight innings. Brian Fuentes? Not so much. Twins infielder Jamey Carroll led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, followed by a Denard Span walk. Two outs later, Willingham dug into the box and ripped a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left-center field, sending Target Field into a frenzy.
Sept. 9, 2012
Final Score: Twins 8, Indians 7
Hero: Justin Morneau
Situation: After the Twins scored a pair of runs in the seventh to claim a 7-6 lead, the Indians tied it in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, Carroll and Joe Mauer went down in order but Morneau, the 2006 MVP, smacked the first pitch he saw into the right-field bleachers for an 8-7 victory.
May 13, 2014
Final Score: Twins 8, Red Sox 6
Hero: Chris Parmelee
Situation: The Red Sox battled back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at 6-6 in the seventh inning. But the Twins weren’t having any of it. With Andrew Miller (who hadn’t been named an All-Star at this point of his career) on the mound for the Sox, Trevor Plouffe and Chris Colabello fanned. Kurt Suzuki kept hopes alive with a ground-ball single to left field, and Parmelee — Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2006 — launched a line drive down the right-field line over the fence for a Twins win.
April 17, 2015
Final Score: Twins 3, Indians 2 (11 innings)
Hero: Trevor Plouffe
Situation: Twins pitchers Glen Perkins, Caleb Thielbar and Blaine Boyer held the Indians scoreless in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings, setting up Plouffe’s big moment. He hit a walk-off homer on a 3-1 pitch from Bryan Shaw, and the Twins improved to 4-6 on the young season.
June 18, 2015
Final Score: Twins 2, Cardinals 1
Hero: Kennys Vargas
Situation: A packed crowd of 34,648 had to sit through the Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia (yes, that Jaime Garcia) zoom through Minnesota’s lineup in six scoreless innings. And in the seventh, young slugger Vargas grounded into a double play with the bases juiced. But for those who stayed, the game was well worth the price of admission. Joe Mauer put the Twins on the board with an opposite-field dinger to tie the game in the eighth inning, and with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Vargas got his revenge and walked it off with a blast.
July 6, 2015
Final Score: Twins 4, Orioles 2 (10 innings)
Hero: Brian Dozier
Situation: Twins second baseman Dozier was snubbed as an American League All-Star, but he had a chance to crack the team with a fan vote for the final roster spot. Tagged by the viral campaign “No Bull #VoteDozier,” his chances were increased when he sent a 10th-inning pitch into the seats to beat the Orioles with the first walk-off homer of his career.
July 10, 2015
Final Score: Twins 8, Tigers 6
Hero: Brian Dozier
Situation: Ok, this one was just ridiculous. Detroit took a 6-1 lead into the ninth inning. We’ll take this hitter by hitter: Mauer singled. Miguel Sano doubled. Plouffe struck out. Rosario singled, scoring Mauer to make it 6-2 with one out. Then Aaron Hicks walked, and Suzuki was hit by a pitch with the bases juiced to close the gap to 6-3. Danny Santana shot a single through the middle, scoring Rosario and Hicks. And then Dozier stepped into the box. The second baseman launched a game-winning three-run homer to left field to cap off a seven-run inning and one of the best come-from-behind wins in team history. And yes, after hitting two walk-off homers in four days, Dozier was voted into the 2015 All-Star Game. No Bull.
April 25, 2016
Final Score: Twins 4, Indians 3
Hero: Oswaldo Arcia
Situation: After starting the season 0-9, the Twins needed a spark in April. Arcia delivered. He led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run, gifting reliever Kevin Jepsen with his second career win as a Twin.
June 7, 2016
Final Score: Twins 6, Marlins 4 (11 innings)
Hero: Brian Dozier
Situation: It wasn’t looking good for Miami’s reliever Dustin McGowan, as the heart of Minnesota’s order was due up in the 11th. Robbie Grossman walked but was caught stealing. Then Mauer walked, and after Plouffe grounded out, guess who stepped into the box? Yep, Dozier. Doz hit his third walk-off at Target Field, a blast to left field that sealed the game for Minnesota.
June 12, 2016
Final Score: Twins 7, Red Sox 4
Hero: Max Kepler
Situation: Kepler was still earning his full-time role in right field for the Twins, and through 19 games of his rookie year he was struggling a little: .209/.306/.302 with four doubles and six walks in 43 at-bats. Then Kepler had a moment that engraved his name into the picture of the Twins’ future. After Minnesota let the Red Sox score three runs in the eighth to tie the game, Kepler sent one deep to center field with one out to walk off winners.
May 5, 2017
Final Score: Twins 4, Red Sox 3
Hero: Joe Mauer
Situation: “Going back is Bradley, going back is Bradley … IT’S GONE!” Mauer sent one into the Twins bullpen and fist-pumped around the bases like he was Kirby Puckett in 1991 for his second hit of the night and first career walk-off homer at Target Field. A fun fact: Mauer hit it off Matt Barnes, who was the same Boston reliever to give up Kepler’s walk-off winner in 2016. Barnes must really like Target Field.
Sept. 13, 2017
Final Score: Twins 3, Padres 1 (10 innings)
Hero: Eddie Rosario
Situation: Ervin Santana was brilliant through six innings, shutting out San Diego on three hits. But the Padres tied it with a run in the eighth, and this game was destined for extras. With one on and one out in the bottom of the 10th, Rosario turned on an inside pitch and watched it flirt with the right-field foul pole from the batter’s box. It was ruled a homer, and the Twins greeted him at home with buckets of water and colorful Double Bubble gum.
Sept. 14, 2017
Final Score: Twins 3, Blue Jays 2
Hero: Byron Buxton
Situation: A walk-off homer is exciting enough. But on back-to-back nights? And from another exciting, young Twins outfielder? Is this a dream? Buxton hammered a 1-0 pitch from Toronto’s Luis Santos to the upper deck in left field, picking up his first career walk-off home run. With authority.