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Morneau maintains optimism amid homer drought

Morneau maintains optimism amid homer drought


MINNEAPOLIS -- It's been an interesting season for Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.

Morneau is hitting for average, batting .297, and driving in runs, as he leads the team with 36 RBIs. But the slugger has just two homers in 57 games entering Wednesday's contest with the Phillies.

Morneau, who has hit at least 30 homers three times in his career, hasn't homered since April 28 to mark the longest homerless drought of his career. But he's trying to stay positive, focusing on other things such as the fact that he's hitting .355 with runners in scoring position, as well as his 15 doubles.

"It's one of those things where it'll come," Morneau said. "I just have to keep hitting the ball hard. It's frustrating and not what I like to see, but doing other things to help us win, I think I can live with that."

Morneau added he's been trying just about everything he can to figure out why he hasn't hit with his usual power, but hasn't found the answer just yet.

"I've never been through anything like this," Morneau said. "It's frustrating. Sometimes you aren't hitting, but you run into one every once in a while. I'm trying everything I can to get back that swing. I'm doing all the tee work and things I've done in the past. I feel like I've been taking good swings, but I'm not doing what I expect with the ball. But it can be streaky and you can hit three or four in a seven-game span, and all of a sudden something clicks for you."

Morneau had the big hit in Tuesday's 3-2 win with a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, and said it's at-bats such as those that help his confidence despite the lack of homers.

"I try not to think about it too much, because it'll drive you crazy," Morneau said. "So I'm just going out there and trying to hit the ball hard and eventually it'll turn in the right direction. But right now, I feel like I'm still having productive at-bats and finding ways for us to win ballgames. But it would be nice to hit a three-run homer and put a game out of reach."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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