Plouffe's slugging impresses Gardenhire

Plouffe's slugging impresses Gardenhire

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has liked what he's been seeing from Trevor Plouffe, who has been on a home run tear over the past three weeks.

Plouffe's seven homers since May 16 are tied for fifth in the Majors and tied for fourth in the American League. He also ranks second in at-bats per home run to the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano over that span.

"I don't know if he's a pull hitter, but I know he's definitely up there trying to drive a baseball," Gardenhire said. "He works awful hard to try to shoot the ball the other way and drive it the other way. That probably helps him during the game to stay through the ball. His bat stays in the zone longer than it used to. Or at least that's what they tell me. All I know is he's hitting them into the seats."

Plouffe, who has seen time at third base, shortstop, second base, first base, left field and right field this season, has eight homers on the year. He's still hitting just .198 in 38 games, but is batting .262 since May 16.