SAN DIEGO -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had more time to reflect on Kurt Suzuki's unusual inside-the-park homer in Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Padres, and said he believes the ball cleared the left-field wall for a traditional homer.
Suzuki hit a deep drive to left field that appeared to go over the fence and back onto the playing field but it was never ruled a homer by the umpires on the field, and Suzuki kept running around the bases for an inside-the-park homer.
Gardenhire said he believed the ball cleared the fence but didn't want to challenge the ruling for fear it could've been ruled fan interference and changed to a double. So he left it as an inside-the-park home run because it counts the same for Suzuki.
"Suzuki can run but that wasn't really an inside-the-park home run," Gardenhire said. "That was an over-the-fence home run that hit a fan and everybody quit playing but him. So call it what you want. I just didn't want to challenge it because I didn't want it ruled as fan interference."
Suzuki was fine with the decision not to challenge the play, as it gave him his first career inside-the-park home run at any level.
"It's cooler to have an inside-the-parker," Suzuki said with a laugh.
It also officially went down as the first inside-the-park homer for the Twins since Joe Mauer did it against the Angels at the Metrodome since July 21, 2007. Suzuki joked it was cool to be a part of that club with Mauer, who was also a catcher when he hit his.
"Me and Joe were talking about it," Suzuki said. "Athletes out there, you know."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @ This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.