MINNEAPOLIS — A year ago, the Twins made a habit of bludgeoning opponents with the long ball. There were 307 of them, to be exact.
This year’s Twins, it seemed, were well set up to outpace their previous iteration before the season started.
It hasn’t turned out that way for the Twins, but Saturday provided somewhat of a flashback as the Twins hit five home runs on their way to an 8-4 win over the Indians on Saturday night at Target Field. Five home runs is a season high for them.
For most of the game, the bottom part of the Twins’ order carried their offense.
Marwin Gonzalez, who entered the day with just two hits in the month of September, seemingly broke out of his slump with a two-run home run to right off Cleveland starter Zach Plesac in the second inning.
His home run was followed immediately by a line drive home run to left from Willians Astudillo, his first of the season.
Plesac entered the game having given up just five runs all season in his 34 innings pitched, but the bottom of the order did more damage off Plesac in the fourth inning when Byron Buxton hit a two-run shot off him.
It was the second two-run home run for Buxton in as many days and put the Twins (29-18) on top 5-2 after the Indians (26-20) had scored a pair of runs off of Hill in the top of the fourth.
Though the Indians scattered a few runs of their own and made it a one-run game in the eighth inning, Eddie Rosario helped provide some breathing room with a two-run blast.
Miguel Sano followed with another homer, marking just the second time in franchise history that the Twins have gone back-to-back twice in a game. The other time was in 1966.
That, and a solid start from Rich Hill helped propel them past the Indians, who now have lost five straight games and fallen to third place in the division behind the White Sox and Twins.
Hill gave the Twins five solid innings, picking up his first win of the season since July. He struck out a season-high seven in his outing.