Jorge Polanco leads Twins to win in Houston: MLB.com says he's 'opened eyes'

Polanco had four hits and four RBI, including a clutch home run.
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Jorge Polanco

Make it four straight road wins for the Twins (13-7) after Monday night's 9-5 victory over the Houston Astros. 

Jorge Polanco (392/.452/.716.) led the Twins with four hits and four RBI, including a clutch two-run homer in the eighth inning to push the lead back to four. That came after a three-run homer by Carlos Correa in the bottom of the seventh trimmed Minnesota's lead to 7-5. 

The Twins finished with 12 hits, making it the eighth time in 20 games that they've collected double-digit hits. 

"I don't know how the at-bats as a whole, as a collective group, can be much better through 20 games," manager Rocco Baldelli said after the win, via the Twins. "I don't know if we can hope for anything more than what we've seen."

Polanco, specifically, was among five players that MLB.com notes have opened eyes early in the season. It notes that he's had a big jump in hard-hit rate, up to 41 percent from 28 percent, and has decreased his ground ball rate from 39 percent to 22 percent. It adds this gem: 

"Put another way: Since Aug. 1, 2017, Polanco has hit as well as Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant. He’s done it in fewer plate appearances, and there’s no way to look past the suspension that cost him half a season. But despite how long he’s seemingly been around, Polanco is still the same age as Byron Buxton -- and he’s leading a first-place Twins team."

Notes: 

– Nelson Cruz had TWO infield hits. Not bad for the big man. 

– Byron Buxton's streak of 33 straight successful stolen base attempts ended. 

– Jake Odorizzi allowed just two runs in 5 2/3 innings. He's issued just one walk in his last 11 innings. 

– Max Kepler had a single and two walks in his return from an illness. 

– Jason Castro hit his first homer of the season and also walked twice. 

– Ryne Harper served up the three-run homer to Correa. Harper was also returning from an illness. 

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