MINNEAPOLIS -- When manager Ron Gardenhire walked out to right field during pregame batting practice on Tuesday, he found rookie Kennys Vargas trying to shag fly balls with a bat.
"That was the first no-no," Gardenhire said with a laugh. "I didn't say anything to him, because I want him to enjoy himself. But eventually, we'll get the bat out of his hand. When you go to the outfield to shag, carry a glove. That does tell you a little bit about what he likes to do."
While Vargas might not have a passion for fielding, he's been flashing some skill in the batter's box. In three games against the White Sox this past weekend, he went 5-for-14 (.357) with four RBIs, including a 2-for-5, two-RBI performance in Sunday's finale.
Tuesday's game was his first professional game at Target Field -- if you don't count the Futures Game on July 13, when he went 1-for-4 with a double to right field. He continued to impress by belting the decisive three-run homer in the sixth, his first Major League home run, as the Twins won, 3-1.
"We'll see how he handles Major League pitching at this ballpark," Gardenhire said before the game. "He oughta have fun. It should play well for him. He told me, 'I think it carries really well here.'"
Those words aren't often uttered by hitters at pitcher-friendly Target Field.
"That's a first," Gardenhire said.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Alex Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.