Thome hits 600th home run

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“I thought of my mother,” Thome said. “She must’ve been looking down upon us. And being there with us. I know she’s here in heart and spirit.”

Thome is the oldest person to hit his 600th homer. Sosa previously held that mark at 38 years, 220 days. He reached the milestone in 2007.

Since signing with the Twins before last season, Thome has been a popular figure at Target Field _ both in the clubhouse and for the paying customers in the seats. He hit 25 home runs last season in just 276 at-bats, many of them moon shots that sailed high into the Minneapolis air and caused players, coaches, fans and everyone else to shake their head in amusement and astonishment.

This season has been more of a struggle. He’s been bothered by the injuries to his toe, oblique and quadriceps. His milestone homer was only his 11th of the year in his 185th at-bat. But when healthy, he’s still as capable as anyone of putting a powerful swing on the ball.

Rodriguez needed two weeks to hit No. 600 after reaching 599 last year. Thome waited one inning.

After a lineout and a single in his first two at-bats, Thome lifted a drive to left-center off Rick Porcello in the sixth, breaking a 3-all tie. That homer went an estimated 412 feet. His 600th was shorter. For a moment, it appeared Young might have a chance to make a play on the ball, but Young _ who was traded from the Twins to the Tigers earlier in the day _ could only watch as his former teammate’s hit sailed into the Detroit bullpen.

Before Monday’s game, Thome hadn’t homered since Aug. 4. Thome has hit at least 20 homers in 17 of his last 18 seasons _ the only exception was 2005 when he hit seven in only 59 games for the Philadelphia Phillies.

He revived his career with the White Sox after that, homering 42 times in 2006.

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