The Twins and their lucky home run sausage are home safely with the winning streak still intact

The Minnesota Twins' home run sausage is pictured in the dugout during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Friday, May 3, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Matt Krohn)


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The lucky home run sausage safely returned to Minnesota with the Twins — and their winning streak.

After hitting coach David Popkins initiated the superstition last week, grabbing an unopened summer sausage from a table in the clubhouse and encouraging his players to tap it before their at-bats, the Twins coincidentally followed with a flurry of big hits.

Edouard Julien and Ryan Jeffers hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning of the April 24 game at Target Field, and after Carlos Santana went deep in the eighth, Jeffers actually tossed the sausage to the first baseman on his return to the dugout.

From there, the ritual went viral. But not bacterial, they hope.

The Twins took the sausage with them on the road, wisely double-sealed in a plastic bag and stuffed into a shoe. They won all six games, a franchise first for a trip of that length.

With a 5-2 win on Friday over Boston, they pushed their win streak to 11 games to match the third-longest in club history. The sausage stayed in the dugout; no home runs were hit, but the Twins struck out only six times.

Jeffers, wearing a navy blue “Home Run Sausage” T-shirt featuring a salami-shaped slugger swinging for the fences, was coy in the clubhouse before the game when asked about the cured meat’s whereabouts.

There was a reason for that, manager Rocco Baldelli said.

“It’s in the fridge, in the coaches room. We keep it away from the players until the last possible second, when the game starts,” said Baldelli, who had a different, assumedly fresher, summer sausage on his desk in his office.

The original and now famous sausage was part of a baby gift to infielder Kyle Farmer from Cloverdale Foods, which supplies the official bacon of the Twins and Target Field. (Sheboygan Sausage, for the record, has the official bratwurst and sausage.)

Farmer and his family were previously part of a promotion for a Cloverdale breakfast sandwich, and he and his wife welcomed their second son earlier this year.

“As huge baseball fans ourselves, we truly understand and respect the elements of superstition and luck,” said Cloverdale vice president of marketing Leigh Milander. “The belief that our Cloverdale Tangy Summer Sausage is somehow magically influencing hits is a huge honor.”

The Twins are no stranger to unique home-run celebrations. Last season, they brought a fishing vest and toy fishing pole to the dugout, a nod to the state’s 10,000 lakes.

This version was by their side when they completed that four-game sweep of the White Sox, totaled 32 runs and 45 hits to win three straight against the Los Angeles Angels and then recorded a three-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago.

“The season’s too grueling and baseball’s too hard of a sport to not have fun once in a while, right?” Jeffers said.


Associated Press freelancer writer Sarah Effress in Chicago contributed.


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