Justin Morneau’s recent outdoor work paid off Sunday when he launched a two-run homer in the sixth inning against Texas, nearly clearing the section behind the overhang in right field.
It was only Morneau’s second homer of the season, which might have been part of the reason he hit the field for early work as soon as weather permitted.
“It’s been nice to be able to get outside side and just do some extra stuff,” he said. “For me to find my swing is … to swing.”
Texas’ Alexi Ogando had held the Twins to one run when Josh Willingham drew a two-out walk before Morneau jumped on a first-pitch breaking ball.
“It was good to see him put a ball in the seats,” catcher Joe Mauer said after the 5-0 victory.
Morneau’s only other home run came April 13, a solo shot that broke up Mets righthander Matt Harvey’s no-hit bid in the seventh inning. The one he hit Sunday was the 206th of his career, one behind Kirby Puckett for fifth on the Twins’ all-time list.
Ejection No. 63
Ron Gardenhire was ejected for arguing in the seventh inning. And he had to work for it.
Eduardo Escobar attempted to bunt Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks over. His bunt was fielded by Rangers pitcher Joe Ortiz, who threw to third to force Arcia on a close play. Both Arcia and third base coach Joe Vavra objected to umpire Alfonso Marquez until Gardenhire ran out to join the discussion.
The Twins manager had a heated exchange with Marquez before turning to the dugout. Marquez said something as Gardenhire walked away, which was enough for him to turn back, make a brief comment and get thrown out.
“I was leaving the field and he turned and said something else to me,” Gardenhire said, “and I turned back, which was not a good idea.”
It was his first ejection of the season and the 63rd of his career. It’s the second time he has been tossed by Marquez, whose call, on replay, appeared to be correct.
Harden backs off
Righthander Rich Harden, on a long comeback trail following shoulder surgery last year, had to be shut down last week after experiencing soreness. Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said Harden is better and is expected to return to mound this week.
Harden, signed to a minor league free-agent contract over the offseason, had been throwing live batting practice.
“That’s not unexpected, but we were doing well there for a while and he never had any setbacks and now he came up a little sore in his shoulder,” Ryan said. “So we backed down.
“It’s not unusual for a guy who is coming off of what he’s coming off of to feel a little sore. We aren’t going to push him.”
Both the Twins and Harden understood that his recovery was going to be a long process.
|New England||2/1/15 5:30 PM|
|Nashville||3||3rd Prd 13:19|
|Minnesota||1||2nd Prd 10:17|
|Anaheim||1||1st Prd 14:47|
|East Tenn St||55||FINAL|
|Central Conn St||55||FINAL|
|Mount St Marys||67||FINAL|
|Coll of Charleston||70||FINAL|
|Fla Gulf Coast||78|
|SE Missouri St||61|
|North Dakota St||61|
|Ark-Little Rock||70||2nd Half 1:11|
|Georgia State||83||2nd Half 1:29|
|ULM||44||2nd Half 7:36|
|Portland||29||2nd Half 13:34|
|Kentucky||35||2nd Half 16:44|
|Eastern Ky||44||2nd Half 14:32|
|UAB||41||2nd Half 14:58|
|Idaho State||53||2nd Half 10:35|
|Chicago State||35||2nd Half|
|Utah Valley U||42|
|Colorado||35||1st Half 0:40|
|Cal Poly||8||1st Half 14:00|
|Hawaii||19||1st Half 13:05|
|Pepperdine||6||1st Half 11:29|
|Santa Clara||11||1st Half 12:53|
|Utah||13||1st Half 12:28|
|UC Santa Barbara||7||1st Half 13:25|
|Montana||6||1st Half 14:16|
|Montana State||10||1st Half 12:33|
|Long Beach State||9:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Loyola Marymount||9:30 PM|
|San Francisco||10:00 PM|
|William & Mary||67|
|(1) South Carolina||85|
|(4) Notre Dame||74||FINAL|
|Sam Houston St||68|
|Fla Gulf Coast||71||FINAL|
|(18) Miss State||69|
|South Dakota St||71|
|Utah Valley U||55||FINAL|
|Ole Miss||19||2nd Half 20:00|
|Portland State||26||2nd Half 8:59|
|Sacramento St||37||2nd Half 17:10|
|North Dakota||31||2nd Half 15:00|
|Ohio State||61||2nd Half 12:52|
|Northern Colorado||34||2nd Half 12:14|
|BYU||15||1st Half 13:23|
|St Marys-CA||15||1st Half 13:53|
|Pacific||14||1st Half 12:54|
|Cal-Irvine||8||1st Half 13:47|
|UC Santa Barbara||4|
|San Diego||13||1st Half 13:11|
|UC Davis||9||1st Half 13:44|
|Long Beach St||10:59 PM|