Reporting David McCoy
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Is the power back on?
It’s a question a whole lot of Twin Cities residents were asking last week.
And it’s one that a whole lot of Twins fans were asking about in terms of Justin Morneau on Sunday night.
In the seventh inning, Morneau passed Kirby Puckett for fifth all-time on the Twins home runs list, notching No. 208.
“Pretty humbling,” Morneau said. “Pretty cool, and kind of been a long time coming.”
A long time coming because it was only his fourth homer of the season. His power outage has been well chronicled — Morneau is on pace for easily the lowest injury-free output of his career.
But half of his homers have come in the last 10 days, after finally breaking a streak of 168 straight at-bats without a homer — by far the longest drought of his career. Morneau said he’s been working on the mechanics of his swing, and it’s felt better in recent days.
“It’s hard to explain it, but it’s a feeling that you kind of have,” Morneau said. “A couple days ago, hitting off the tee on the field, it started to feel a lot better. I said to myself, ‘That’s what my swing should feel like,’ and I hadn’t felt that for a while.”
He has to balance his pursuit of more power with the fact that, well, he’s doing everything else well. He’s still leading the team in RBI and is second only to Joe Mauer in batting average.
“If I was younger or less experienced, maybe it might be driving me a little more crazy than it is,” Morneau said. “But as long as I feel like I’m helping this team win games by driving in runs, I think that’s all I can really focus on. Three-run homers are nice, obviously it’s an easy way to drive in three runs. But if you can give consistently good at-bats, and set up the guys around you to have good at-bats also by getting on base and that kind of stuff, then I think you’re helping the team win.”