Twins slugger Nelson Cruz homers 3 times against White Sox

Sports

Minnesota Twins’ Nelson Cruz watches his two run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game as Chicago White Sox catcher James McCann (33) and home plate umpire Ed Hickox (15) look on Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Chicago. It was Cruz’s third home run of the game. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

CHICAGO (AP) — Minnesota Twins slugger Nelson Cruz homered three times in the first five innings against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

Cruz hit a solo drive in the first, a two-run shot in the third and another two-run homer in the fifth. It’s the first career three-homer game for the six-time All-Star, who has 385 home runs in his career.

Cruz batted again with a runner on first in the sixth and struck out swinging against Jimmy Cordero, ending the inning. He flied out to right leading off the ninth.

Max Kepler also went deep against All-Star Lucas Giolito, helping the Twins build a 10-3 lead.

Cruz’s outburst followed three-homer games by New York Mets second baseman Robinson Canó on Tuesday night and St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong on Wednesday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time in major league history there’s been a three-homer game on three consecutive days.

The 39-year-old Cruz, who signed a $14.3 million, one-year contract with Minnesota in January, has six homers in his last four games and 25 overall this season. According to STATS, he is the oldest player in major league history to hit six-plus homers in a four-game span, surpassing Barry Bonds, who hit seven in four games at age 36 in 2001.

Cruz also became the 10th player in big league history with a three-homer game after turning 39, according to Baseball Prospectus, joining a list that includes Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas and Álex Rodríguez.

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