Ron Gardenhire on Justin Morneau returning this season: "I don't see how it can possibly happen"

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Justin Morneau hasn’t played since suffering a concussion from a knee to the helmet on July 7 and this afternoon manager Ron Gardenhire finally admitted that the Twins don’t expect him back in the lineup this season.
Appearing on 1500-ESPN with hosts Patrick Reusse and Phil Mackey, Gardenhire replied “I don’t see how it can possibly happen for him” when asked about Morneau returning for the end of the regular season or even the playoffs.
He also added “I hope I’m wrong” but given the lack of progress Morneau has made while sitting out the past three months his return has been viewed as a longshot for quite a while now.
Minnesota has thrived since Morneau went down, going 47-21 for the best record in the American League, which is amazing given that Morneau was hitting .345/.437/.618 and ranked second among AL hitters in OPS at the time of the concussion.
Adding his bat to a lineup that ranks fourth in the league in scoring would obviously be a huge boost and even having Morneau available as a bat off the bench would’ve been plenty useful in the playoffs, but unfortunately it sounds like that won’t happen. Morneau is another sad reminder of how unpredictable and scary concussions can be, and at this point there have to be serious questions about his status for 2011 and beyond.

Twins reach historic home run total during 11-4 rout of White Sox

Max Kepler
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The Twins trampled the White Sox on Friday night, cruising to a cool 11-4 lead over their division rivals and collecting their sixth double-digit win of 2019. Even more impressive, they picked up their 99th, 100th, and 101st home runs, a feat that’s rarely been matched in a team’s first 50 games of any given season.

The first homer of the night was delivered by Eddie Rosario in the third inning. Working against a single-run deficit, Rosario lifted an 0-1 fastball from the White Sox’ Reynaldo López, planting it firmly in the left field stands and evening the score, 4-4. Two batters later, Rosario’s solo home run got a sequel: a 398-footer from Miguel Sanó, this one postmarked for the upper deck in left.

In the fourth, now leading 5-4, the Twins saw a third and final homer from the bat of Max Kepler, whose center-field blast traveled a projected 397 feet to give the club a two-run advantage. Per MLB Stats, the Twins’ record — 101 homers in 50 games — stands second only to that of the 1999 Mariners, who managed to club 102 home runs before their 51st game of the season.

While the record has undoubtedly been a team effort, Rosario leads the pack with a team-best 15 homers so far this year, closely followed by C.J. Cron (13), Max Kepler (11), and Jonathan Schoop (10). Sanó, whose solo shot marked the team’s 100th home run of 2019, has just five, though there’s little doubt he’ll reach double digits before the end of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the Twins also made it to an even 300 runs scored in 2019, for a satisfying average of six runs per game and a new franchise record (previous high mark: 273 runs scored in 1992). With the win, they improved to 34-16 on the year and continue to hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the AL Central.