Who had Aug. 18 in the "Joe Mauer's first home run at Target Field" pool?
You'd need at least 63 entries for anyone to get it, because it wasn't until tonight -- the team's 63rd game at the new stadium -- that Mauer hit his first homer at his new home after 180 at-bats.
Mauer hit a solo homer off of Gavin Floyd in the fifht inning to pull the Twins to within a run of the White Sox, 5-4.
He did have a homer in an exhibition game at the stadium in April, but that doesn't count. Wednesday's homer was his eighth of the season. Mauer's hitting ??? this season. His OBP entering Wednesday's game was nearly identical at home and on the rod, but he was slugging .541 no the road, compared to .410 at home.
Mauer's not the only one -- the Twins have 77 homers on the road and 34 at home, although the slugging for the team isn't nearly as dramatic as Mauer's split. The Twins are slugging .444 on the road and .431 at home.
Mauer's on a tear, though. In the last 18 games entering Wednesday, he's hitting .493/.565/.710. Those numbers will be even better after the 19th game -- the homer was his third hit in as many at-bats in the game and he's a triple shy of the cycle.
It's doubtful Target Field sees another 62 games without a Mauer homer.
UPDATE: Mauer finished the game 4 for 5. He's now hitting .335/.407/.496 on the season. Not too shabby.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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