Gimenez goes deep twice for 1st multiHR game

Backup catcher hits 3-run homer in 1st, solo shot in 3rd

Gimenez goes deep twice for 1st multiHR game

MINNEAPOLIS -- Being a backup catcher throughout his nine-year career in the Majors, Chris Gimenez is keenly aware of his main role with the Twins this season.

He was brought in for his ability to work with pitchers and his leadership, and any offense that comes with it is almost a bonus. In 318 games before Thursday, Gimenez had never had a multihomer game, but he changed that, accomplishing the feat for the first time, connecting on two blasts against the Mariners in a 6-2 win at Target Field.

"It was pretty cool," the 34-year-old Gimenez said. "Any time I can get one in my situation is a good thing. But to be able to get two is pretty cool. Fortunately, I've done it in the Minor Leagues but never in the big leagues. I feel like I've never got enough at-bats to get on a roll to do that. But I'll take them when they come."

It was also the second career four-RBI game for Gimenez, and his three-run homer in the first helped the Twins to a 5-0 lead before tacking on a solo homer in the third after the Mariners had scored in the top of the inning.

Gimenez on two-homer day

"It's a big gap between two [runs] and five," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I thought the second one was big, too, because of the momentum. They had just scored and for him to answer, I just thought both were critical to the way the game progressed."

Gimenez's first homer came on a 2-2 fastball from lefty Ariel Miranda. Gimenez got just enough of it, as it had an exit velocity of 97.2 mph and went a projected 353 feet, per Statcast™. It had a high launch angle of 41 degrees, and had a hit percentage of only 7 percent. Gimenez said that after he fouled back a high changeup, he expected a fastball and didn't miss.

"I kind of thought he might try to sneak a heater by me after that one," Gimenez said. "Being a catcher you have a tendency to think like that sometimes. I thought I'd see a heater and got one middle-away and got it just far enough to go over the fence."

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Gimenez homered again in the third off Miranda, and this one was hit harder and stayed just fair down the left-field line off the foul pole. The solo shot left Gimenez's bat at 104 mph with a launch angle of 26 degrees and went a projected 386 feet.

"I had to talk to it a little bit as I went to first," Gimenez said. "It's the first time in my life I'd hit the foul pole. I'm not normally a pull-it-down-the-line kind of homer guy."

Gimenez now has three homers in 30 games this season, compared to five relief appearances, causing him to joke about his hitting prowess as a reliever.

"Not bad, right?," Gimenez said. "Hopefully, I'm one of the better hitting pitchers in the league." 

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.