MINNEAPOLIS -- Before the start of this season, there was a lot of focus on the additional power threats the Twins had added to their lineup. And after the Twins hit nine home runs in their first four games of the year in Anaheim, it certainly looked like the long ball wouldn't be a problem for this team.
But when Jason Kubel went deep off Javier Vazquez to lead off the sixth inning on Thursday for the first of his two homers on the night, he snapped a streak of 349 plate appearances -- and more than eight games -- by the Twins without a homer. It was the ninth-longest streak in club history and the Twins' longest since 1993. Even some players on the club admit that it has been strange to see from a team that ranked 13th in the Majors in home runs last year go through such a spell.
"It's weird," Kubel said of the drought before Thursday's game. "I didn't think it would be like this. But it happens, and hopefully we start hitting some liners and not high ones here at Target Field."
Five of the eight games without a home run came at Target Field, and much has been made about the lack of home runs being hit at the Twins' new ballpark -- lack of homers by the Twins, that is, as opponents entered Thursday outhomering Minnesota, 21-10.
Part of the reason for opponents having more success could be that the majority of the home runs have come down the lines and the Twins have traditionally been a gap-to-gap team. As for whether his players might change their approach and try to start pulling the ball more at home, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he didn't believe they would.
"What we don't want to do is get out of whack and do something you're not capable of," Gardenhire said. "Just keep swinging, and that's what we've done."