KANSAS CITY -- Justin Morneau had many enjoyable days playing at Kauffman Stadium during his 11-year stint with the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central. In those 11 seasons, Morneau had 58 extra-base hits in 143 games against Kansas City (31 doubles, one triple, 26 home runs).
Now, Morneau is back in familiar territory for a two-game series against the Royals and swinging the type of hot bat that Kansas City fans remember from Morneau's AL days.
Morneau entered the two-game set with a .329 batting average, eight homers and 29 RBIs. Those numbers haven't surprised former Twins teammate Michael Cuddyer, who recommended that the Rockies sign Morneau. The early hitting surge by Morneau hasn't been Coors Field-inflated, as Morneau entered the Royals series with a .315 average, four homers and 13 RBIs on the road.
"This is what I envisioned for Justin," Cuddyer said. "He needed to get last year out of the way, as far as knowing he could play healthy again. That was the first obstacle. Now, he knows he's healthy and everything is fine, so it's just a matter of getting back to production."
Like Morneau, Cuddyer also has happy memories of Kauffman from Cuddyer's years with the Twins. But Cuddyer, who is on the disabled list, has to miss the Kauffman regular-season games this time around.
"One afternoon [Aug. 23, 2009], I hit two homers here in one inning and became the only Twin to do that," Cuddyer said. "That was pretty cool."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less