Plouffe finding his timing at the plate

Plouffe finding his timing at the plate

Plouffe finding his timing at the plate
MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor Plouffe appears to be recapturing his timing at the plate.

The Twins third baseman has mostly struggled offensively since returning on Aug. 13 from a bruised right thumb suffered on July 20. Plouffe only collected two hits in his first 33 at-bats after coming back.

But more recently, Plouffe has seemingly found an answer, breaking out during Minnesota's series in Texas last week. He went 5-for-16 with an RBI in the four-game series. Plouffe also saved the Twins from falling victim to a second no-hitter this season, singling to end Matt Harrison's no-hit bid in the seventh inning on Friday.

"He's swinging better, no doubt," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's putting some nice swings on some balls and hitting some balls hard."

Plouffe is hitting .240 on the season, but his 11 home runs tied for the second-most hit in baseball during June. He was also hitting .259 before injuring his thumb.

"He's just gotta get a little bit better luck," Gardenhire said. "But he's actually had a lot better at-bats, especially lately."

The 26-year-old Plouffe's defense is also still a work in progress. He spent extra time before batting practice on Monday fielding ground balls.

Plouffe has committed 10 errors in 65 games at third base this season.

"It's his own idea," Gardenhire said of the extra field work. "We want them to take the initiative. We talked about getting home now and getting a little bit more work, so he's doing it -- reading the ball, staying a little bit lower."