No ordinary Joe, Mauer falls homer shy of cycle

No ordinary Joe, Mauer falls homer shy of cycle

CLEVELAND -- When the Twins' series against the Indians began on Monday, Joe Mauer was hitting .261/.364/.373, while batting .188 with three extra-base hits over his last 10 games.

But Mauer has been on an absolute tear since the calendar turned to August, and it continued in Wednesday's 13-5 win over Cleveland at Progressive Field, as he went 4-for-5 with four RBIs, a homer shy of the cycle..

Mauer is 10-for-15 with five doubles, a homer, a triple, six RBIs and eight runs over his last three games to improve his slash line on the year to .277/.377/.411.

"It's been good," Mauer said. "I've been really staying on that back leg, driving the ball. I've been a little bit more sore, but it's been feeling good getting results. It's been great."

Mauer made the mechanical adjustment with his back leg after watching video of his swing from earlier this year, when he got off to a hot start offensively. And it has certainly paid off, as he helped the team make history, scoring at least 10 runs in three straight games against the same opponent in a series for the first time ever.

"I know he's looked back on some film from when he was swinging better and barreling up some balls better," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I think it's just been a small thing he's been trying, and he's obviously been very comfortable. He's hitting a lot of balls on the nose."

Mauer helped Minnesota get out to yet another early lead, doubling to spark a two-run first against right-hander Trevor Bauer. He added an RBI single in the second to score Danny Santana before breaking the game open with a two-run double in the third to give the Twins a six-run lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Mauer's RBI single in the 2nd

"It's a lot of fun," Mauer said. "Up and down the lineup. Max [Kepler] has been unbelievable and [Brian] Dozier. Really, you can pick anybody in that lineup the last three nights."

Mauer wasn't done, drawing a leadoff walk in the sixth before connecting on an RBI triple in the eighth for his fourth hit. Mauer, though, failed in his bid for the cycle, grounding out in the ninth inning after a three-run homer from Dozier.

Mauer's two-run double

"We were waiting for the homer the last at-bat," Molitor said. "But it didn't look like he got a real good pitch to drive."

Even without hitting for the cycle, it was another impressive night for Mauer, who has reached base safely 12 times over the last three games.

"He's on a tear right now, but everybody is for that matter," said right-hander Tyler Duffey, who gave up five runs in six innings to pick up the win. "It's good to see because when he gets it going at the top of the order, it gets the ball rolling. Him and Kep, I wouldn't want to throw to them."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for 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.