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In ballpark's 165th game, Mauer and Morneau are finally on Target

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider
It only took three years.

It only took 165 games.

Thursday, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau homered in the same game at Target Field -- for the first time.

Hard to believe, isn't it?

We're talking about two guys who combined for 58 home runs as recently as three years ago, the last year the Twins played at the Metrodome. We're talking about two guys who make up about 40 percent of the Twins payroll.

They went all last year without homering in the same game, home or road.

Finally, they did it Thursday, helping the Twins to a 10-9 win over the Angels.

It was only Mauer's second home run in 115 Target Field games. It was Morneau's fifth in 77 games.

Compare that to Jose Bautista, who has played seven games at Target Field -- and has hit seven home runs.

Target Field actually should favor left-handed power, but Mauer has become primarily an opposite-field hitter (his home run Thursday was pulled, while his 2010 home run was hit to left field). And Morneau saw his power disappear after a 2010 concussion.

Morneau finally began driving the ball again in the second half of spring training this year. Mauer also looked better this spring, although his power has not yet returned.

The Twins have issues beyond Mauer and Morneau's power, but they're obviously a different -- and much better -- team if the two big guys hit.

They did today. They did it at Target Field.

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