Justin Morneau missing fifth straight game with flu

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Justin Morneau is out of the Twins’ lineup tonight for the fifth straight game with the same flu bug that exacerbated Joe Mauer’s health problems last week.

Morneau missing five games with a flu has understandably raised some eyebrows after last year’s concussion sidelined him for eight months, but Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that “not everything is a conspiracy” and Morneau “looked ill” when she saw him at the ballpark yesterday.

According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com the former MVP “overdid it yesterday” and is “back at the hotel resting, receiving fluids.”

Minnesota is also without Mauer, who’s on the disabled list with bilateral leg weakness, and Delmon Young, who’ll miss his third straight game with sore ribs and some of the same flu bug. All of which helps explain why the Twins rank dead last in the majors in offense.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.