Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau each missed 72 games for the Twins last season because of assorted maladies. The hope for the club coming off 99 losses in 2011 was that the pair - who combine for $35 million of the club's $94 million payroll - would return to health.
They have. Each slammed home runs in the Twins' dramatic 10-9 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, April 12, at Target Field, driving in half of the winning run total.
"In the latter part of spring training, Morneau started to hit the ball hard and often," general manager Terry Ryan said. "And Mauer has been pretty good the whole spring. I don't think health is a question for either one of them right now. It's nice to have them out there."
The Twins had 20 hits in Thursday's victory, winning two of three games against an Angels team considered among the best in baseball.
"We thought in spring training that we had some offense," Ryan said. "It took us awhile to show it. We've got some length and punch to this lineup, one through nine. Some of them are table setters, some of them are guys who can drive the ball and some of them are guys who can hit it over the fence.
"But each in their own way give us a lineup that's a little more of a threat. Plus, we've got some punch off the bench."
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St. Paul Pioneer Press | Apr 13