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Twins' Park Byung-ho hits grand slam for first U.S. homer

All Headlines 08:08 March 07, 2016

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) - The Minnesota Twins' Park Byung-ho hit a grand slam for his first home run in the United States on Sunday.

The Korean slugger crushed one off Tampa Bay Ray's right-hander Jake Odorizzi in the first inning of their preseason game in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Twins won the game 5-4.

It was the first long ball of the spring for Park, who joined the Twins on a four-year, US$12 million deal after they won the posting bid for him with a $12.85 million bid. Park had been one of the most feared sluggers in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) for the Nexen Heroes, and belted 52 and 53 homers in the past two seasons here.

The KBO MVP in 2012 and 2013 is expected to serve as the Twins' designated hitter and also to spell veteran Joe Mauer at first base. Park had been the first baseman in the KBO and played the position for the first time this spring on Sunday.

Park later said he wasn't certain at first the ball was going to leave the yard.

"I made solid contact," he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But I wasn't sure it was going to go out of the park because the wind was blowing pretty hard."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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