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Updated: June 5th, 2010 12:20am
Morneau keeps slugging on the road as Twins snap skid

Morneau keeps slugging on the road as Twins snap skid

by Tom Pelissero
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The Minnesota Twins have been decidedly mediocre on the road this season.

Not Justin Morneau.

His big night on Friday at Oakland -- a two-run homer in the first inning, a walk and run in the sixth and a leadoff double in the 11th that turned into the deciding run in the Twins' 5-4 victory -- only continued Morneau's power run away from Target Field.

In 27 home games this season, Morneau is hitting .378 and slugging .567, with two home runs and 16 RBIs.

In 26 road games, Morneau now is hitting .366 and slugging an incredible .792 with 11 homers and 24 RBIs.

Morneau's walk-to-strikeout ratio is better at Target Field (27-17, compared to 15-23 on the road), and thus his on-base percentage (.517 to .440 on the road) is higher as well. But the Twins have played .500 ball away from home in part on the strength of Morneau's power in other teams' ballparks.

When Morneau homers on the road, the Twins are 7-3. (He homered twice May 17 at Toronto.) When he doesn't, the Twins are 7-11.

Of course, there were other factors in Friday's win, which snapped a three-game slide. In the 11th inning alone, Athletics left fielder Gabe Gross misplayed Morneau's drive into a double, Delmon Young provided the winning RBI -- his second of the game -- and Jon Rauch closed the door for his 14th save.

Left-hander Francisco Liriano (5-3, 3.29 ERA) will face Athletics righty Trevor Cahill (4-2, 3.02) on Saturday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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