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Granite has impressed in short stint with Twins

Rookie extends hitting streak to 9 games with 2-run single
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- With Twins center fielder Byron Buxton likely to come off the disabled list and rejoin the team in San Diego next week, Zack Granite is making it difficult for Minnesota manager Paul Molitor to send him back down to the Minors when the time comes.

Granite extended his hitting streak to nine games with a pair of singles and two RBIs in the Twins' 5-4 loss to the Oakland A's on Saturday night.

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OAKLAND -- With Twins center fielder Byron Buxton likely to come off the disabled list and rejoin the team in San Diego next week, Zack Granite is making it difficult for Minnesota manager Paul Molitor to send him back down to the Minors when the time comes.

Granite extended his hitting streak to nine games with a pair of singles and two RBIs in the Twins' 5-4 loss to the Oakland A's on Saturday night.

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"I'm feeling good at the plate," Granite said. "I'm getting good pitches to hit and I'm just keeping it simple and making good contact."

On a night when third baseman Miguel Sano snapped out of his five-game funk with his 24th home run, Granite came up equally big at the plate while pacing Minnesota's 10-hit attack.

Granite got the Twins off to an early start with a two-run single off A's starter Chris Smith in the second inning. After flying out to deep center in the fourth, Granite singled again leading off the sixth but was thrown out trying to steal second base.

The Minnesota rookie also stayed busy in the outfield, recording five outs while tracking down a handful of deep fly outs.

Since being called up on July 8 to make his Major League debut when first baseman Joe Maurer was placed on the disabled list, Granite has been among Minnesota's most consistent hitters. Over his last 10 games, he's batting .357 (15-for-42) with seven RBIs.

Whether that's good enough to keep him on the 25-man roster next week remains to be seen. Buxton is spending the weekend with Triple-A Rochester and Molitor said the plan is for the center fielder to rejoin the Twins for the start of a two-game series in San Diego beginning Tuesday.

"I'm just up here trying to do what I do," Granite said. "I can't really control that stuff. I can't waste my breath and time on things I can't control. I just try to think about that pitch that's coming on, that's about it.

"I do feel pretty well. I feel like I've handled myself pretty well up here. I'm hitting the ball decent and hopefully that can continue however long they need me."

Molitor was uncertain what Minnesota would do, but said Granite has given the team food for thought.

"He's stepped in here and he's given us good at-bats throughout and he's gotten his fair share of hits, particularly over the past seven, eight days," Molitor said. "No matter what happens, this has been a nice first step for him. We'll see where it goes. We'll have to decide obviously if Byron comes back what we're going to do."

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Twins on Saturday.

Minnesota Twins, Zack Granite