© Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

Cory Hepola: The guy most wanted 'gone' is now the hero

Miguel Sano and the Twins win with a walk-off in the 9th inning

August 06, 2019 - 10:42 am

"If it was up to most of the fans on social media, this wouldn't have happened last night." - Cory Hepola

Yep, a Sano walk-off, pinch-hit, two-run homer and the Twins defeat Atlanta 5-3! It's Sano's 2nd career walk-off, and the 9th time the Twins have had a pinch-hit walk-off homer. 

The Twins have won four straight for the first time since the end of May.  

Oh, and it's the first walk-off home run against Atlanta since this:

"Touch 'em all Kirby Puckett!"  It's still chill-inducing for Twins fans.  The Twins also walked-off the Braves the next night when Gene Larkin singled to left scoring Dan Gladden to win World Series number two.

WCCO's 9:00am-Noon Host Cory Hepola said Tuesday morning, "Last night never would have happened if it were up to most fans on social media.  Six weeks ago, a lot of people wanted Miguel Sano out of here.  Just DFA him, donate him, get rid of him!"

In addition to last night's home run, Sano also had some late-game heroics against the Yankees on July 24th, a game the Twins ultimately dropped in 10 innings. Miguel Sanó hit his second homer of the game in the eighth off Zack Britton to put Minnesota ahead 11-10. Unfortunately, Aaron Hicks followed with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth off closer Taylor Rogers, who blew his second save in three games and fifth of the season.

But, Sano came through in the clutch, and that's what we should remember.  

Hepola added, "He looked lost.  He was flailing at everything.  Had no plan, had no idea at the plate.  His average dropped below .200, he couldn't even make contact.  Then Sano got to work.  Listened to the Twins' staff.  Since June 27th, Miguel Sano is a completely different guy.  He's selective and it's paid off."

In the last 32 games he's hitting almost .300 with 10 homers, and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) over 1.000, which would rank in the top six in baseball if he kept that number up.  

© Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

Said Hepola, "These type of changes are difficult.  They usually take a full off-season to correct.  Not for Sano."

It's been just in time for the Twins who have won 9 of their last 11 and have been able to increase the lead over Cleveland, who lost Monday night to Texas.      

Tuesday night, it's the Twins and Braves again on WCCO.  Jose Berrios gets the start against Mike Foltynewicz for Atlanta.  Foltynewicz has struggled after being an All-Star last year.  He was demoted to Triple-A June 23rd before being recalled for tonight's start. 

Berrios on the other hand, has pitched mostly brilliantly in 2019.  He is 10-5 overall with an ERA of 2.80.  In his last start in Miami, he went 7 innings, giving up 2 hits and striking out a season-high 11.  

Pregame on WCCO starts at 6:30, first pitch is 7:10pm.  

You can listen to Hey! It's Cory Hepola's Top 3 every day at 9:10am on WCCO.  Click below to listen to today's, when Cory talks Sano, R Kelly being charged in Hennepin County, and why video games aren't causing mass shootings.

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