Morneau hopes homer signals turning point

Morneau hopes homer signals turning point

MINNEAPOLIS -- As Justin Morneau put it, the monkey was finally off his back after homering on Wednesday against the White Sox.

Morneau connected on a two-run blast in the seventh inning to give him his first homer since April 28, and his third of the season. It ended a career-long homerless stretch that spanned 168 at-bats.

Morneau admitted it was a relief to finally homer, and added that he hopes it'll help him moving forward.

"Hopefully it's the start of good things," Morneau said. "You never know. The old saying, one home run doesn't make a home run hitter. It's one of those things that hopefully gets you going in the right direction. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is hit a home run, and you start trying to do that over and over again. For me, I think hopefully this is the best-case scenario."

Despite the lack of homers, Morneau has still been productive, as he's hitting .289 with a team-high 40 RBIs in 64 games entering Thursday. But he had been doing a lot of extra work pregame with hitting coach Tom Brunansky to find his power, and it finally clicked on Wednesday.

"I'm sure it's a relief," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was pretty excited. He got the bat head out there. He worked really hard yesterday before the game on making a few adjustments getting the bat head out front. So I think we all saw he was relieved with a different type of smile on his face. So hopefully he'll carry it from there."

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