Defensive whiz Buxton also impresses with bat

Twins center fielder has renewed confidence in the batter's box

Defensive whiz Buxton also impresses with bat

MINNEAPOLIS -- While Byron Buxton has continued to prove himself to be an elite defender in center field, as evidenced by his leaping catch to rob Nelson Cruz of a potential three-run homer on Friday, it's Buxton's offense this month that has the Twins excited about his future.

Since being called up Sept. 1, Buxton is hitting .301/.354/.601 with seven homers, four doubles, a triple and 16 RBIs in 21 games entering Saturday. He's incorporated more of a leg kick to help with his timing, but said it's a renewed confidence in the batter's box that has helped him the most.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buxton robs HR by leaps and astounds

Twins rookie showcases skills to snag Cruz's 410-foot shot

Buxton robs HR by leaps and astounds

MINNEAPOLIS -- Highlight-reel catches have become a common occurrence for Twins rookie center fielder Byron Buxton, but he made one of his best catches of the season to rob Seattle's Nelson Cruz of a potential three-run homer in the third inning of the Mariners' 10-1 victory Friday night.

Cruz crushed a 2-2 fastball from right-hander Kyle Gibson to dead center, but Buxton raced back to the wall and made a leaping grab to end the inning. Gibson watched with awe from the mound and gave a fist bump after he saw Buxton came up with the run-saving catch.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dawson impressed by Hall of Fame Tour

Exhibit will be at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., through Sept. 29

Dawson impressed by Hall of Fame Tour

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The Baseball Hall of Fame is a national treasure, and the museum is a must-see for baseball fans, but its location in Cooperstown, N.Y., isn't easy to get to for many.

So Major League Baseball helped create the first Hall of Fame Tour, which is making its final stop of the year in the north lot of the Mall of America in Bloomington until Sept. 29. The traveling Cooperstown exhibit includes five trailers filled with interactive displays, artifacts and an IMAX movie celebrating the game of baseball.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins unable to slow Mariners' Wild chase

Twins unable to slow Mariners' Wild chase

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners lefty James Paxton took matters into his own hands on Friday with a powerful seven-inning outing, and he got plenty of help from his offense as Seattle topped the Twins, 10-1, to stay in pursuit of an American League Wild Card.

"This is what we need," Paxton said. "We need to win right now. Guys are playing hard, and we're just doing our best to stay right there and climb up in the Wild Card standings."

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kepler, Twins relieved day after neck injury

Rookie outfielder held out Friday, cleared to return

Kepler, Twins relieved day after neck injury

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins received good news on rookie outfielder Max Kepler, who suffered a mild neck strain in Thursday's game against the Tigers but could return to the lineup as early as Saturday.

Kepler, who was injured running into the wall trying to track down a double hit to the right-field corner, was held out of the lineup in the series opener against the Mariners on Friday, but said he had been cleared to play.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dozier hits historic 42nd HR, but streak ends

Dozier hits historic 42nd HR, but streak ends

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier made history in the Twins' 9-2 loss to the Tigers on Thursday afternoon in Game 1 of a split doubleheader, as he connected on his 42nd homer of the year and his 40th while playing second base, which set an American League record for homers hit by a second baseman.

"It's just another number but at the same time, I know the fans are into that kind of thing," Dozier said. "So you come out and play for them. So to be able to do that at home was pretty cool."

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cabrera gave a thumbs up to Buxton's impressive throw

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Cabrera gave a thumbs up to Buxton's impressive throw

Miguel Cabrera, two-time MVP and perennial All-Star, has used the 2016 season to fashion himself into MLB's foremost critic of great plays. His rating system is deceptively simple: A good ol' fashioned thumbs up, which he bestows upon only the most impressive feats he sees.

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Santana can't slow Tigers in twin-bill nightcap

Santana can't slow Tigers in twin-bill nightcap

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers rolled into Target Field on Thursday morning for a long day of work. They left town with an American League Wild Card spot in their grasp. Justin Verlander's six innings of work and Erick Aybar's two RBIs helped Detroit to a doubleheader sweep, capped by a 4-2 win in the nightcap.

The two victories, combined with an Orioles loss to the Red Sox, vaulted Detroit into the second Wild Card spot, taking a half-game lead. Detroit erased a three-game Wild Card deficit by winning its last four games, while the O's were swept by Boston. The Tigers won the season series by taking all nine games at Target Field, the first division foe to go unbeaten at Minnesota since the 1979 Rangers.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

May diagnosed with stress fracture in back

May diagnosed with stress fracture in back

MINNEAPOLIS -- After visiting back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in Southern California on Monday, Twins reliever Trevor May was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back.

The root of May's back issues was previously undetected, even after a visit to the Mayo Clinic in August. The injury is expected to heal with rest this offseason, and Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said it's a relief to finally know what has plagued May since last season.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins drop battle of bullpens in Game 1

Twins drop battle of bullpens in Game 1

MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Upton hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning on Thursday afternoon at Target Field before Victor Martinez's pinch-hit three-run homer in the ninth sent the Tigers on their way to an 9-2 win over the Twins to begin a day-night doubleheader.

The win moved Detroit within a half-game of Baltimore for the second American League Wild Card spot. A win in the nightcap and an Orioles loss Thursday evening would put the Tigers into the spot by themselves.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Molitor likes challenge of managing

Hall of Fame player part of small group who also managed in Majors

Molitor likes challenge of managing

NEW YORK -- Paul Molitor is a member of an elite group, one of just 217 players who have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. And he's still a member of a much smaller subset of that group: Hall of Famers who have managed a Major League team. There have been 63 of them, but most achieved this feat in the era before World War II.

Of late, aside from Molitor, only Ryne Sandberg has made an attempt. But Sandberg lasted less than two calendar years with the Phillies and resigned midway through the 2015 season when upper management changed.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buxton hits top speed to make diving grab

Buxton hits top speed to make diving grab

MINNEAPOLIS -- With Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias at the plate with a runner on and nobody out in the seventh, the Twins shaded center fielder Byron Buxton to right-center.

But Iglesias lifted a shallow fly ball into left-center, and Twins manager Paul Molitor assumed it was going to drop in for a hit. But Buxton raced in to make a diving catch to rob Iglesias in Minnesota's eventual 8-1 loss on Tuesday at Target Field.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins, Santiago can't keep pace vs. Tigers

Twins, Santiago can't keep pace vs. Tigers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Injuries depleted the Tigers' lineup, but the Twins couldn't silence it. James McCann's three-run homer, Miguel Cabrera's two-run shot and a pair of Justin Upton RBIs supported Matt Boyd's career-high eight innings, sending Detroit to an 8-1 win Tuesday night at Target Field.

A week after the Twins split a four-game series at Comerica Park, seemingly curtailing Detroit's postseason charge, the Tigers moved to 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second AL Wild Card spot. Toronto is a game ahead of Baltimore in the top AL Wild Card spot.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins' Rosario done for season with thumb fracture

Twins' Rosario done for season with thumb fracture

MINNEAPOLIS -- After receiving further testing on Monday, Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario was diagnosed with a fractured left thumb and will miss the rest of the season, manager Paul Molitor said on Tuesday.

Rosario, who injured his thumb sliding head first into first base on Saturday, was hopeful it wasn't a break after X-rays were inconclusive after the game. But the further testing on Monday revealed the hairline fracture, and Rosario became the latest Twins player to miss the rest of the year, joining outfielder Danny Santana, third baseman Trevor Plouffe and reliever Trevor May.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With Twins' struggles, Dozier can't enjoy career year

Slugger one HR shy of setting record for AL second basemen with 40

With Twins' struggles, Dozier can't enjoy career year

NEW YORK -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is having the offensive season of a lifetime. His fifth-inning single in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Mets at Citi Field extended his hitting streak to 22 games in a row.

Dozier's next homer will be his 40th of the season as a second baseman and will set the American League record for that position. The overall mark at the second sack is 42, set by Rogers Hornsby for the Cardinals in 1922 and matched by Davey Johnson for the Braves in '73.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vargas' homer not enough to back uneven Gibson in finale

Vargas' homer not enough to back uneven Gibson in finale

NEW YORK -- With each passing day, the Mets' flirtation with postseason baseball becomes increasingly serious. As the Giants and Cardinals slugged things out amongst themselves this weekend in San Francisco, the Mets quietly took care of their own business at home, capping a three-game sweep of the Twins on Sunday with a 3-2 victory.

Gabriel Ynoa struck out eight over 4 2/3 innings in his first career start, Michael Conforto drove home two runs and T.J. Rivera homered for the Mets, while the Twins never made much of their persistent threats to score. The win moved the Mets one game in front of the Giants for the National League's best record among Wild Card contenders after San Francisco lost to the Cardinals. 

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Despite loss, Buxton's September ascent continues

Rookie shaking off tough introduction to Majors, hits 6th homer this month

Despite loss, Buxton's September ascent continues

NEW YORK -- It could have been a nice win for the Twins, and it could have been a moment to remember for Byron Buxton.

It could have been and it would have been, if not for Curtis Granderson.

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Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins fall to Mets on walk-off HR in 12th

Twins fall to Mets on walk-off HR in 12th

NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson became the first Mets player in club history to hit homers that both tied and won the game in extra innings on Saturday night, giving his club a 3-2, 12-inning victory over the Twins at Citi Field in a contest that had playoff implications for New York.

Byron Buxton homered to lead off the top of the 11th against Mets reliever Hansel Robles and Granderson answered in the bottom of the inning with an opposite-field shot to left off Minnesota's Brandon Kintzler. Granderson then homered with two outs in the 12th against Ryan O'Rourke, a left-hander who had just come into the game to counter the lefty-swinging Granderson. It was the third walk-off homer of his career.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Twins on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rookie Berrios: 'I want to be dominant'

Despite loss to Mets, Twins note pitcher's improvement in early innings

Rookie Berrios: 'I want to be dominant'

NEW YORK -- When Jose Berrios got the final out of the first inning Friday night, he returned to the Twins' dugout to find manager Paul Molitor waiting for him.

"It might not be the prettiest zero you'll ever put up," Molitor told his young right-hander. "But it's a zero."

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Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins' offense stifled by Mets veteran Colon

Twins' offense stifled by Mets veteran Colon

NEW YORK -- The Mets returned to Citi Field for their final homestand on Friday in an enviable position. With a one-game cushion in the National League Wild Card race and the NL's easiest schedule before them, they held control of their fate. The Mets' only requirement was to win at least as many games as the next-best teams.

They began that process with a clinical 3-0 win over the Twins that typified the type of team they've become. Bartolo Colon gave the Mets seven shutout innings, Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera hit back-to-back home runs and the Mets never trailed. WIth the Giants' 8-2 win over the Cardinals, the Mets held on to the second NL Wild Card spot and secured a two-game lead over the Cardinals in the race.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York and covered the Twins on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dozier, Buxton provide plenty for Santiago as Twins earn split

Dozier, Buxton provide plenty for Santiago as Twins earn split

DETROIT -- The Twins threw another wrench into the Tigers' late-season playoff drive and spoiled ex-teammate Mike Pelfrey's return to Detroit's rotation. Brian Dozier's two-run single punctuated a four-run second inning, providing Hector Santiago and Minnesota's bullpen all the support they needed for a 5-1 win on Thursday afternoon and a four-game series split at Comerica Park.

The loss dropped the Tigers two games behind the Blue Jays for the second AL Wild Card spot, and into a tie with the surging Seattle Mariners. Detroit remains six games behind Cleveland in the AL Central race heading into their three-game series beginning Friday at Progressive Field.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays VP reportedly in the mix for Twins job

Bloom first joined Tampa Bay organization as intern in 2005

Rays VP reportedly in the mix for Twins job

Tampa Bay Rays vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom is among the candidates to take over the Minnesota Twins' leadership position, sources told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal on Friday. Neither club has confirmed the report.

Bloom has worked in the Rays' organization since joining the club as an intern in 2005 before being promoted to a baseball operations assistant near the end of the season. He served as the organization's assistant director of Minor League operations in 2008.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Terence Moore

Wait a second: A closer look at Dozier's power

Twins slugger could accomplish rare marks for his position

Wait a second: A closer look at Dozier's power

We're witnessing one of baseball's greatest feats this season. It's not quite Cy Young grabbing a 511th victory or Rickey Henderson swiping all of those bases or Willie Mays making impossible catches. It's also much less than Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak and most things involving the bat and the glove from the likes of Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron and Ken Griffey Jr.

Even so, when you consider the history of the game since its professional birth soon after the Civil War, Brian Dozier is doing the unthinkable.

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Terence Moore is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins dodge Miggy's 3-run homer threat

With Tigers facing 4-0 deficit vs. Twins, Cabrera's 417-foot bid for 3-run blast dies in CF

Twins dodge Miggy's 3-run homer threat

Miguel Cabrera had starred in this moment countless times before.

With two on and two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers slugger stepped into the box, looking to spark a rally for his club, facing a 4-0 deficit against the Twins. In fact, Cabrera had done just that the day before, fueling yet another late-inning comeback for Detroit with a go-head homer in the seventh.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dozier belts 41st jack as Twins fall to Tigers

Dozier belts 41st jack as Twins fall to Tigers

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera provided the latest addition to the Tigers' late-inning rallies with a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning shortly after Andrew Romine made a spectacular catch en route to a 9-6 win over the Twins on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

The win moved Detroit one game back of Toronto for an American League Wild Card spot. The Tigers remained six games behind the AL Central-leading Indians.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Suzuki gets stitches to close chin laceration

Suzuki gets stitches to close chin laceration

DETROIT -- Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer in a 9-6 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday night, but he also had to leave the game after sustaining a cut on his chin in the eighth inning after being hit in the facemask by a foul ball from Miguel Cabrera.

The impact of the foul ball reopened an old wound for Suzuki, who received eight stitches on his chin after being hit in the facemask in a game at Boston on July 23. This time, Suzuki needed five stitches.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins will open 2017 season against Royals

Club's first 19 games are slated to be against AL Central opponents

Twins will open 2017 season against Royals

DETROIT -- The Twins are set to open the 2017 season at home for the second time since Target Field opened in 2010, according to the preliminary 2017 Major League Baseball schedule released on Wednesday.

The Twins will begin next season against the Royals at home on April 3 with an off-day on April 4 before the three-game series wraps up on April 6. The Twins then head on their first road trip of the year, playing three games with the White Sox beginning on April 7 and three games in Detroit starting on April 11. Minnesota's first 19 games are against American League Central opponents.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Berrios pleased to remain in Twins' rotation

Rookie looking forward to next start on road against Mets

Berrios pleased to remain in Twins' rotation

DETROIT -- Rookie right-hander Jose Berrios said on Wednesday that he was thankful to get another chance to start on Friday against the Mets after meeting with manager Paul Molitor, pitching coach Neil Allen and bullpen coach Eddie Guardado on Tuesday.

Berrios, who came up as a highly regarded prospect, has struggled in the Majors, posting a 9.27 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 28 walks in 44 2/3 innings. He's had only one quality start in 11 outings, and lasted 2 2/3 innings last time out against the Indians on Sunday. But the Twins are giving him another chance, and the 22-year-old said he wants to make the most of it.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Polanco drives in four, triple shy of cycle

Amid solid rookie campaign, Twins shortstop garners praise from Molitor

Polanco drives in four, triple shy of cycle

DETROIT -- While Brian Dozier's epic run to 40 homers and Byron Buxton's emergence this month have dominated the headlines as the Twins head to the finish line, shortstop Jorge Polanco's impressive rookie year has flown under the radar.

Polanco continued his strong season, falling just a triple shy of the cycle by going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, a walk and a career-high four RBIs to help lead the Twins to an 8-1 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night at Comerica Park. Polanco, 23, is hitting .298/.348/.442 with two homers, 12 doubles, four triples, 20 RBIs and 20 runs in 52 games.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.