Cruz connected in the fourth inning Sunday for his 40th homer of the season. He became the third player in Twins history to hit 40 home runs in a season, joining Harmon Killebrew and Brian Dozier.
"It's nice to do it in front of the fans. I think they deserve it,'' Cruz said. "They've been such a big influence for us as a team. They come up every day with that energy.''
The 39-year-old Cruz tagged Kansas City's Gabe Speier for a solo drive. It gave the AL Central-leading Twins an 8-6 lead on their way to a 12-8 win and elicited a curtain call for Cruz as fans at Target Field gave him a standing ovation.
This was the fourth time in Cruz's career that he's gotten to the 40-homer mark. He did so in three straight years from 2014-16 with Baltimore and Seattle. He's the 26th player in baseball history with four 40-home run seasons. Cruz also became the ninth Dominican-born player with 400 career homers.
"Nelly going out there and hitting his 400th home run, maybe he picked the perfect day to do it,'' Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "We're all honored to be here and witness it and enjoy this experience with him.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.