BUXTON HOMERS: Wasn't sure what to make of Byron Buxton's four homers in 20 games at Rochester. If he becomes a power hitter, great. But he's had so much trouble trying to make consistent contact that shortening his swing seemed to be better for his immediate future. But Buxton showed off his pop in the second inning on Thursday by clubbing a three-run homer - on a breaking ball, at that. It was an easy swing, and the ball took off. It seemed to catch fans by surprise because there was a brief moment of silence (disbelief?) before they started cheering. The blow got the Twins on their way. Buxton said before the game that he didn't work on anything in particular when he went to Rochester. ``Just going out there and playing the game and what ever happens happens,'' he said of his time at Rochester. ``I put a few good swings on the ball. Still didn't get to where I wanted to. I felt pretty good and confident and I'm ready to go.'' That was Buxton's only hit on Thursday - but he didn't strike out! He entered Thursday having struck out in 34.8 percent of his plate appearances, which is waaaaay too much.
After the game, Trevor Plouffe said he was impressed with Buxton's swing. ``His first three at bats, I haven't seen bat speed like that and aggressiveness like that out of him in a long time,'' Plouffe said. ``It was really cool to see.''
THAT LOOKS FAMILIAR: It looks like Justin Morneau is looking to do some damage here. Morneau was 2-for-5 on Thursday and is 6-for-17 in four games against the Twins this season. He looks dangerous at the plate again and, apparently, the White Sox are very happy with him and are open to bringing him back in 2017. That's good news for a guy whose career looked in jeopardy because of concussion problems.
BUT PRESSLY GOT HIM: Ryan Pressly gave up a run in the eighth inning and had a runner on second when he made a stand against the heart of the White Sox order. He got Melky Cabrera to ground out, got Jose Abreu to reach for a breaking ball and tap back to the mound. Then he got Justin Morneau to flail at a curve and strike out to end the inning. Pressly has made steady progress as a reliever since joining the Twins as a Rule 5 pickup. With Pressly and Kintzler, the Twins have bullpen pieces to work with. The key will be determining if Glen Perkins can still close.