Morneau, out with stiff neck, hopes to play Sunday

Morneau, out with stiff neck, hopes to play Sunday

PITTSBURGH -- Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, still suffering from a stiff neck on Saturday, hopes Sunday is the day he can face his former club, the Pirates, at PNC Park.

Morneau finished last season with the Pirates and was part of a team that reached the playoffs. He hit .260 in the final 25 regular-season games and went 6-for-20 (.300) in the five-game National League Division Series loss to the Cardinals, but did not hit a home run. This year, Morneau is hitting .312 with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs for the Rockies, the team he signed with this winter.

"It happens to me every now and then, but it's better that it's two days down now than two weeks later," said Morneau, who dealt with neck stiffness during Spring Training and had a brief bout with it earlier in the season. "It's tough because we're playing against my former team and we're scuffling a little bit. But sometimes it's better to think long term.

"I'm hoping I can play tomorrow."

Rockies lefty Boone Logan also was unavailable Friday with a stiff neck. It was uncertain if he would be available Saturday night.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.