The Twins single-game RBI record is eight, originally set by Glenn Adams in 1977, and tied by Randy Bush in 1989.
Right fielder Glenn Adams collected eight RBI in a 19-12 win versus the White Sox at Met Stadium on June 26, 1977, going 4-for-5 with a two-run double, grand slam, RBI single, and sac fly, in that order. Remarkably, Adams only scored one run in the game. It happened to be “Rod Carew Jersey Day,” and the first baseman gave his fans a performance to remember, going 4-for-5 with a home run, double, six RBI, and a new team record five runs scored (tied by Tim Teufel 9/16/83, Paul Molitor 4/24/96, and Luis Rivas 6/4/02). 1969 St. Paul Murray grad Tom Johnson pitched 6.2 innings in relief to earn the win.
First baseman/right fielder Randy Bush tied Adams’ record, going 3-for-4 with a sac fly, eight RBI, and two runs scored in a 19-3 win in Texas on May 20, 1989. Six of Bush’s eight RBI came in the final two innings, hitting three-run home runs in both the eighth and ninth innings. Leadoff hitter Dan Gladden tied the major league record (nine-inning game) with seven plate appearances, going 1-for-7 with an RBI and run scored.
The previous single-game RBI record had been seven, set by Bob Allison in the first game of a Sunday doubleheader in Baltimore on April 16, 1961. After Orioles starter Chuck Estrada walked the first three batters of the game, Allison hit the first grand slam in Twins history. He added a three-run homer in the sixth, powering the Twins to a 10-5 win. Allison went 2-for-4 with an RBI double as the Twins won the second game 6-4 in 11 innings.
Third baseman Harmon Killebrew tied the record with seven RBI in the first two innings of a 16-4 win in Oakland on September 7, 1969. He hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and a grand slam in the second before being replaced by in the batting order by catcher George Mitterwald in the bottom of the fourth, with Frank Quilici moving to third.
Left fielder Brant Alyea tied the record in his first game as a Twin on April 7, 1970. He went 4-for-4 with a pair of three-run homers as Jim Perry earned a 12-0 complete-game win on Opening Day in Chicago. Alyea drove in four more runs with a grand slam in Perry’s second start of the season (April 15). He went on to drive in 20 runs in the Twins’ first 12 games, with a remarkable 19 of those RBI coming in Perry’s first four starts. Incidentally, Jim Perry won the AL Cy Young Award in 1970, perhaps thanks in part to Alyea’s run support.
Alyea matched the single-game record again on September 7, 1970, going 3-for-4 with a grand slam in the first, and three-run home run in the third to drive in all seven runs in a 7-6 Twins win. It was the beginning of a Twins record nine-game RBI streak during which he drove in 17 total between September 7 and September 13 (two doubleheaders).
Right fielder Bobby Darwin tied the record with seven RBI in a 13-6 win at Tiger Stadium on June 15, 1973, going 4-for-5 with a pair of two-run homers. All four of his hits drove in at least one run.
1961–’63 Twins outfielder Jim Lemon collected seven RBI while the team was still in Washington on September 5, 1959. He drove in six runs in the third inning alone, with a two-run homer and grand slam.
Ten Twins players have had 7+ RBI games since Glenn Adams extended the record to eight in 1977:
- Dan Ford, April 26, 1978
- Kirby Puckett, May 20, 1994
- Pedro Muñoz, June 4, 1994
- Kirby Puckett, August 10, 1994
- Ron Coomer, April 21, 2000
- A.J. Pierzynski, June 12, 2003
- Torii Hunter, May 13, 2007
- Jason Kubel, July 6, 2007
- Justin Morneau, July 20, 2009
- Joe Mauer, July 26, 2010
- Max Kepler, July 2, 2016 (Twins rookie record)
Interestingly, there have been eight 3-HR games (see complete list on Baseball Reference) and eighteen 7+ RBI games in Twins history, but these two feats have never been accomplished in the same game. You’d think three home runs would give you as a good a chance as anything to collect seven RBI.
The major league record for RBI in a game is 12, recorded by two Cardinals players 69 years apart. Hall of Famer Jim Bottomley went 6-for-6 with 12 RBI and three runs scored in a 17-3 win over the Robins at Ebbets Field on September 16, 1924. Even with a combined 20 runs scored, the game only lasted one hour and fifty-five minutes.
Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten collected 12 RBI on four home runs (tying the major league record), including a first-inning grand slam, in a 15-2 win in Cincinnati on September 7, 1993. Whiten was the first player with four home runs in a game since Atlanta’s Bob Horner on July 6, 1986, the same game in which Montreal’s Al Newman hit his only major league homer.