But he had to refocus on being aggressive to get deeper into the game against the Chicago White Sox.
May struck out a season-high 10 in six innings and Minnesota overcame Jose Abreu's 35th home run, beating Chicago 6-4 to end a four-game losing streak.
"I've always kind of been a strikeout guy," May said. "Getting those first couple of strikes and then giving them some of my best stuff has translated into swings and misses."
May (3-4) was staked to an early 4-0 lead, then hung on to win his third straight start. The 6-foot-5, 24-year-old walked none while allowing three runs and five hits in his seventh start and longest outing so far.
After pitching coach Rick Anderson visited the mound, May struck out the next three Chicago batters.
"(Anderson) went out there and told him to trust his stuff and pitch off the fastball," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "After that he started doing it again and I think you saw him go right throught them."
Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 40 chances, despite giving up Abreu's homer.
Abreu tied the White Sox rookie record for homers, set by Ron Kittle with 35 in 1983. Abreu singled and drove in two runs, giving the rookie 102 RBIs.
Abreu's homer was his second in two games, but he before that he hadn't hit one since Aug. 22 at the New York Yankees.
"He's been pretty consistent just as a hitter," manager Robin Ventura said. "The power's going to be there. He went through a little stretch where he wasn't hitting many home runs, but it's there."
Adrian Nieto also homered for the White Sox.
Hector Noesi (8-10) allowed five runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Swept in a doubleheader Saturday, the Twins came back to win for just the second time in 10 games. Minnesota won the season series from the White Sox 10-9.
The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the second on Plouffe's homer, his 14th, and Escobar's sacrifice fly.
Schafer's two-run shot with two outs in the fourth extended Minnesota's lead to 4-0. It was his first with the Twins since joining them on Aug. 5 after being claimed on waivers from Atlanta.
After the White Sox closed to 4-2, Nieto hit a solo homer in the fifth.
The Twins added runs on Suzuki's double in the seventh and his sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Twins: Rookie 1B-DH Kennys Vargas sat out his first game since making his MLB debut on Aug. 1. Vargas has seven homers and 35 RBIs in his first 41 games, but is hitless in his last three. "He's had some great at-bats," Gardenhire said. "We've been impressed." ... The Twins played their sixth game in four days.
White Sox: White Sox DH Paul Konerko said he hoped to return during the team's nine-game trip that starts Monday in Kansas City. Konerko has been sidelined since Sept. 2 with a broken left hand. He has 439 career homers and will retire in two weeks after 18 seasons, 16 with the White Sox.
The White Sox (26) and Twins (19) pitchers combined for for 45 strikeouts in Saturday's doubleheader sweep by Chicago, the most in a doubleheader since Oct. 2, 2010, when the Yankees and Red Sox at 49 in a twinbill, according to STATS. Players and managers said the shadows from the U.S. Cellular Field stands played a role during the first game, which started at 3:10 p.m. "The ball was disappearing," Gardenhire said.