SEATTLE – Staying grounded, not getting too excited about hot streaks or despondent over slumps, is Byron Buxton's secret to success, he said. So when asked about his amazing power surge — six consecutive hits, in a stretch of 16 plate appearances, disappeared over an outfield wall — the Twins' center fielder reflexively referred to his recent 0-for-30 downturn.

"About a week and a half ago, you could have thrown me a whole basketball and I was going to miss it," Buxton said humbly. "You turn the page and put everything behind you that happened and just try to move forward. For me, it's about quality at-bats."

Few players have had more than Buxton, who homered and singled — yes, just one base on his hit against former teammate Sergio Romo — in Monday's 3-2 victory over the Mariners.

Buxton's home run was notable for the arc it took toward the stands, curving late in its flight toward right-center. That's a product, he said, of his focus on hitting the ball hard, and not to any particular place.

"I'm just trying to stay a little bit more middle of the field," Buxton explained, shortly after being named American League Player of the Week for his 1.512 OPS performance. "Don't try to do too much, because that's when you get in trouble."

That's been Rocco Baldelli's message to Buxton since he arrived. The manager foresaw a day when Buxton would be at the top or in the middle of the Twins' lineup, but chose to keep him where Paul Molitor had for much of his first few years, batting ninth.

"We wanted to find a consistent spot for him in the lineup. He was a very productive nine-hole hitter, maybe one of the better nine-hole hitters you're ever going to see in the history of the game," Baldelli said. "But it was good in some ways. It allowed him to relax and just play the game and not have to worry about anything."

Especially injuries. Buxton's extensive history of missing games is obviously on the team's mind every day, and it's notable that Buxton served as designated hitter on Monday — then was in the same role on Tuesday, the first time he's ever done that in back-to-back games.

Leg trouble? Another groin strain? According to Baldelli, it's the opposite.

"It's actually a sign that he's feeling good, because today was potentially going to be a day where he was not going to play. He was going to maybe get today off and be ready for the lefty [Marco Gonzalez] tomorrow," Baldelli said. "But he came out of [Monday's] game feeling all right, and good enough to get back out there.

"There's even a chance — I don't know if this is going to be the case, but there's even a chance that he DHs again [Wednesday]. Just getting him out there for all three games and having him in the lineup would be a nice thing."