Polanco makes up for error with 4 hits, 2 RBIs

Polanco makes up for error with 4 hits, 2 RBIs

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a rough July that saw him go 4-for-51 and caused him to lose playing time at shortstop to Ehire Adrianza and Eduardo Escobar late in the month, the Twins' Jorge Polanco has been showing signs of bouncing back offensively and broke out in a big way against the Brewers on Monday night.

Polanco overcame an early error at shortstop that led to two unearned runs scoring by going 4-for-4 with a two-run double to help the Twins to a 5-4 win at Target Field. It extended Polanco's hit streak to five games, and he's started three straight games at short, reclaiming his starting spot at least in the short-term.

"I think I've found myself," Polanco said. "I've been working on what I've been struggling with. I don't think it was anything out of the ordinary, just things I've been doing wrong. I think the biggest thing was swinging at bad pitches, and it's not something I usually do. So I've been able to recognize it and improve it."

Twins manager Paul Molitor noted Polanco simply didn't look like himself in July and was losing confidence offensively, which otherwise had been his strong suit in the Minors and early in his Major League career. It was his first real setback with the Twins, and Molitor is happy with the way he's responding.

"Polanco had a big hit and had a good night with the bat again, which was encouraging for us," Molitor said. "To get a couple hits on the road trip and a couple hits in the last series, he's getting that physical appearance like he belongs again. For a while you could see he was trying to find himself as a Major League player."

Polanco's smooth sliding stop

Polanco's error came on a routine grounder from Ryan Braun in the third inning, and two runs eventually scored on a two-out single from Travis Shaw, with Byron Buxton committing an error on the play. But Polanco singled in the bottom of the third to help start a rally that led to a run scoring before coming through with a two-run double with the bases loaded in the fourth. He later added singles in the sixth and seventh to record his second career four-hit game.

"It doesn't feel good because you don't want to make an error in a game, especially when runs score, but you have to bounce back and keep playing," Polanco said. "The game isn't over after the error, you have to keep playing, and I did."

Molitor said it's hard to predict how Polanco will play the rest of the way, but he's worked hard to overcome his rough July and getting him going offensively would a boost to the offense with the Twins only 2 1/2 games back of the second AL Wild Card.

"It's hard to measure where he's going to go but you have to have the mindset that every day is the first game of the rest of the season," Molitor said. "He didn't get to play there for a while and I thought it was an opportunity to watch, slow the game down and think of the things that got him here in the first place."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.