Two-homer day tells Morneau he's getting closer to his goal

The former AL MVP is starting to heat up, especially with two homers and five RBI off reigning AL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson.

FORT MYERS, FLA. — Justin Morneau, because of concussion symptoms and other injuries that required surgery, said he fell into a lot of bad habits with his swing last season. This spring has been about proving his health and correcting those flaws.

He was on a back field before Saturday's game, taking extra batting practice.

"It's good that he's willing, and able, to take those swings because he's been able to handle the workload," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Morneau's swing looked to be coming around Friday when he hit a long double against the Yankees. On Saturday, he hit two homers, good for five RBI, off reigning AL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson.

"I've been feeling better every day, especially the last three or four days," Morneau said. "I've been taking a lot of swings and the timing is starting to feel a lot better. The swing is starting to feel a lot better. Home runs happen. ... It's not going to be a day like that every day, but you have good days, and it's good to have one of those days now and get the confidence going."

Morneau's big day was one of many as the Twins trounced Tampa Bay 19-4. Luke Hughes was 5-for-5 and Jamey Carroll was 3-for-4 in a 19-hit attack.

How much did Morneau need a day like Saturday?

"It feels good," he said. "It'd be nice to have it on Opening Day. It's one of those things where you don't necessarily need to hit home runs to know where you're at. I think that ball that I hit to center Friday that didn't get out was as good a swing as any I've had all spring."

  • TWINS 19, TAMPA BAY 4

    Up next: 12:05 p.m. today vs. St. Louis, Jupiter, Fla. • TV: none (1500-AM)

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