Morneau slugs way to AL Player of Week
Reigning MVP hit four home runs, three in game vs. Chicago
Justin Morneau watched video of his past doubles and homers before Friday's doubleheader against the White Sox. With those blasts in his mind, Morneau added a few more extra-base hits against Chicago and enjoyed arguably the greatest offensive day of his career.
Morneau went 6-for-10 in the doubleheader and propelled himself to his first career American League Bank of America Player of the Week award. The reigning AL MVP and 2007 All-Star participant finished the week with a .438 (14-for-32) average with two doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs.
Most of the production came in the four-game series versus the White Sox. Morneau went 9-for-18 in the series -- and enjoyed a terrific day Friday.
In the first game, Morneau went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs and helped the Twins win a slugfest, 20-14.
He outdid himself in the second contest, fashioning one of the greatest games by any player in baseball this season. In a 12-0 victory, Morneau collected three homers, three runs scored and six RBIs -- and credited some of the success to watching video before the games.
The first blast, a three-run first-inning shot off Gavin Floyd that landed in the right-field bullpen, provided the Twins with a lead and gave Morneau career homer No. 100. That ball was eventually returned to Morneau.
It wasn't his only personal milestone that day.
Morneau, a State Farm Home Run Derby participant Monday night in San Francisco, hit his second homer in the third inning and crushed his final homer, a two-run shot, off Boone Logan in the seventh. After the third homer, Morneau traded a bat and several signed balls in exchange for his second ball.
"That was fun -- I've never done that before," a smiling Morneau said.
When Morneau was asked if he'd achieved three home runs at any level or scored a hat trick in hockey, the former goalie, a New Westminster, British Columbia native, said only that he had "given up three goals plenty of times."
Morneau became just the fourth player in club history to hit three home runs in one game and the first since Tony Oliva hit three on July 3, 1973, against the Royals.
Morneau finished the weekend with another power surge. He collected three hits, two RBIs and another homer in the final two games of the series.
The first baseman finished the first half with a .295 average, 24 homers and 74 RBIs, numbers that were nearly identical to last year's first-half totals of .300-23-73.
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.