Jim Thome unleashes monster blast for 596th career homer

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Jim Thome’s monstrous three-run homer yesterday was the 596th of his Hall of Fame career and the Twins measured it at 490 feet, which would be the longest homer in the brief history of Target Field and the longest homer hit by anyone in the majors this season.

Oh, and it also turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 win for the Twins, who’re suddenly just five games back in the AL Central despite starting the season 17-37.

My favorite part of Thome’s homer may have been Delmon Young’s reaction to it from the on-deck circle, which is the perfect facial representation of “daaaaaaaamn.”

Thome needs four more homers to become the eighth player in MLB history to reach 600, joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa. Thome is basically a part-time player at age 40, so in order for him to move above No. 8 on the list and pass Sosa with 609 he’d have to return for a 22nd season in 2012. As a Twins fan I’d certainly love to see him back, as his .965 OPS is the highest in team history among all hitters with 150 or more games.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.