It was Joe Mauer‘s first career walk-off home run.
Under the lights in Minneapolis with fans behind home plate chanting “let’s go Joe!” the game was tied at three in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Boston Red Sox had scored two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. With two outs on a 1-ball-2-strike count Mauer was determined to settle this Cinco de Mayo matchup without extra innings; and he delivered with a hit that lit up fans in Target Field as well as the scoreboard. Twins won 4-3.
“That was amazing!” one kid said in a Twitter video posted by Jeffrey DeMars.
Statistically coming off his worse career April performance, this homer had Mauer fist bump as he rounded the bases. By the time he got to home plate he was greeted by a Gatorade bath while jumping around with teammates to the tune of Pitbull‘s “Don’t Stop the Party.” Not only that, third baseman Miguel Sano picked him up and spun him around to celebrate the occasion. This was not just a win that lifted the Twins to first place in the AL Central. This was Mauer’s first career walk-off in 14 seasons as a Twin.
“That was pretty good…just glad to have that opportunity and it went over the fence,” Mauer told Fox Sports North after the game. “I saved it for the right moment, right? Fourteen years I guess…glad to go back to the clubhouse and turn some music on.”
Later when Mauer was in the clubhouse he elaborated on the moment.
“It was a good ballgame. Both pitchers pitched well. The crowd was into it. It was good energy: to finish it like that was pretty fun,” Mauer said.
This walk-off homer lifts Twins to a 15-12 record.
By Gino Terrell