For the past month, Caleb Hamilton has primarily watched from the bench, occasionally entering games late to catch or even pinch run. Hamilton was briefly with the Twins in July. He joined them again on Aug. 23 and has been on the major-league roster since, searching for his first career hit for a month.
He got it on Sunday.
Hamilton’s first hit — a solo home run to left-center — came near the end of a 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon at Target Field, a bright spot in a game with otherwise little excitement for the Twins.
While the 27-year-old rookie has been with the Twins for more than a month, at-bats have been few and far between, with Gary Sánchez and Sandy León primarily handling catching duties. His first career hit came in his 13th at-bat.
Hamilton’s home run was one of the lone highlights for the Twins, who dropped their 17th game in the month of September. Another? The long relief appearance from rookie Ronny Henriquez.
After starter Dylan Bundy gave up five runs — four earned — against his former teammates in just 3 1/3 innings pitched, Henriquez came in and held the Angels quiet for the entirety of his outing. Henriquez did not give up a run in his 4 2/3 innings pitched, helping keep the game somewhat close.
While the Twins never led in the game, the Angels truly pulled away in the ninth, scoring five runs off reliever Trevor Megill, who retired just one batter in his outing. Angels star Mike Trout had three hits, two of them doubles, and scored three runs in the win, while Shohei Ohtani finished with a pair of hits, scoring a pair of runs.
Twins hitters, meanwhile, had ample opportunity, finishing the game with 11 hits, but they weren’t able to convert on most of their chances, striking out 14 times and leaving 10 runners on base.