It was just a matter of when Jim Thome would tie, and then surpass Harmon Killebrew for 10th place on the all-time home run list—not if.

With two outs in the bottom the second, on hot and humid Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis, Thome drove a 1-0 fastball off of Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Wade Davis 345 feet to left field for his 573rd home run in his 20-year career.

Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, again with two outs, on the very next pitch he saw from Davis, Thome drove another fastball into the Twins’ bullpen in left-center for his 574th home run, giving him 10th place all to himself.

The game was briefly stopped while a recorded congratulatory message from Killebrew was broadcast on the scoreboard.

The home runs are his ninth and 10th of the season, his first with the Minnesota Twins and the 20th of his career.

Now Thome finds himself only nine homers behind Mark McGwire for the nine spot on the list.

Thome has taken advantage of increased playing time during the Twins’ home stand as the Twins’ designated-hitter.  He has four home runs in five games against Detroit and Tampa Bay.  

With Michael Cuddyer seeing considerable playing time at third base, and Jason Kubel playing right field, Thome has provided a huge power surge as the Twins’ DH, coming when the team badly needed a lift as the Twins hit the half-way point of the season.

Congratulations, Jim Thome!

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