COMMENTARY | The Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau ended a career-long homerless drought on Wednesday, June 19, in a 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The surprising power from their first baseman motivated the Twins to slug their way to a sweep of the Sox on Thursday.
Morneau's blast against reliever Deunte Heath not only ended a 168-at-bat homerless streak dating back to April 28, it also tied him on the Twins' all-time home run list with Kirby Puckett, who was a pretty significant player in Twins history and had a somewhat famous World Series home run.
Minnesota Twins With Few Career Homers Hit 4 in One Game
The Twins, seeing that even Morneau could hit a home run, came back in Thursday's day game and four different Twins hit a home run. The four players that flexed their power had a total of 26 career home runs between them coming into the game.
Rookie Oswaldo Arcia was inspired by Morneau to end Arcia's own homerless streak. He got the Twins an early lead with a home run to lead off the second inning. It was his first homer since May 22, but that included two weeks in the minor leagues. He also might not have liked that Morneau was only one home run behind Arcia's total before Thursday.
Brian Dozier, apparently trying to shame Morneau, hit a home run later in the second inning. Dozier has hit as many home runs in the last four games as Morneau has hit all season. He also made sure he would stay a home run ahead of Arcia's total and tied a career high with his sixth homer of the season.
Dozier is now tied for fourth on the Twins with his six home runs. He has more homers than Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee, as well as Morneau.
Clete Thomas also was inspired by Morneau. Thomas ended a homerless drought of more than a year by hitting his first major league home run since April 15, 2012. Of course, more than 90 percent of the time in between homers was spent in the minor leagues, but it did get him to double-digits in career long balls.
Eduardo Escobar didn't like Morneau having more home runs this season than Escobar has hit in the major leagues, so he hit the third home run of his career immediately following Thomas' homer. It also was Escobar's first homer since April 15 and gave the Twins one of the least likely pair of players to go back-to-back in the history of baseball, especially against a left-handed pitcher.
Minnesota Twins Score at Least 7 Runs in Each Game of Sweep of Chicago White Sox
Whatever the reasons for the surge of power for mostly light-hitting players, it helped the Twins complete their first three-game sweep of 2013. The Twins scored at least seven runs in all three games against their hated rivals. It was the first time the Twins had scored at least seven runs in three consecutive games since July 2-4 of 2011.
It was the first time the Twins scored at least seven runs in three games against one team since Sept. 14-16 of 2010 during a three-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago.
Earl in the 2013 season, the Twins' offense was near the bottom of the American League in runs scored. The improved offense of late has helped the Twins to score more runs this season than the New York Yankees.
The Twins could sure use more offense to win more games by a comfortable margin so they can save the back end of their bullpen. Thursday's game was the first time the Twins won by at least four runs since a 10-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on June 2.
Even in that game, the Twins used closer Glen Perkins to get him some work in. The Twins haven't won by at least four runs in a game that Perkins didn't pitch since a 10-3 win against the White Sox on May 13.
Of course, neither the Twins nor their fans will complain if they continue to win. The Twins are 15-9 since ending a 10-game losing streak on May 25. They are currently on place to win 77 games this season, which would be an 11-game improvement over 2012.
Darin McGilvra has been a professional sportswriter since 1997 and has been a Twins follower since Kirby Puckett's breakout season of 1986. He has been published in The Californian, a newspaper covering Riverside County, and numerous other websites.
Follow Darin on Twitter at @SoCalTwinsfan.
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