6/12/2013 8:00 P.M. ET
Morneau maintains optimism amid homer drought
By Rhett Bollinger and Kelly Erickson / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- It's been an interesting season for Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.
Morneau is hitting for average, batting .297, and driving in runs, as he leads the team with 36 RBIs. But the slugger has just two homers in 57 games entering Wednesday's contest with the Phillies.
Morneau, who has hit at least 30 homers three times in his career, hasn't homered since April 28 to mark the longest homerless drought of his career. But he's trying to stay positive, focusing on other things such as the fact that he's hitting .355 with runners in scoring position, as well as his 15 doubles.
"It's one of those things where it'll come," Morneau said. "I just have to keep hitting the ball hard. It's frustrating and not what I like to see, but doing other things to help us win, I think I can live with that."
Morneau added he's been trying just about everything he can to figure out why he hasn't hit with his usual power, but hasn't found the answer just yet.
"I've never been through anything like this," Morneau said. "It's frustrating. Sometimes you aren't hitting, but you run into one every once in a while. I'm trying everything I can to get back that swing. I'm doing all the tee work and things I've done in the past. I feel like I've been taking good swings, but I'm not doing what I expect with the ball. But it can be streaky and you can hit three or four in a seven-game span, and all of a sudden something clicks for you."
Morneau had the big hit in Tuesday's 3-2 win with a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, and said it's at-bats such as those that help his confidence despite the lack of homers.
"I try not to think about it too much, because it'll drive you crazy," Morneau said. "So I'm just going out there and trying to hit the ball hard and eventually it'll turn in the right direction. But right now, I feel like I'm still having productive at-bats and finding ways for us to win ballgames. But it would be nice to hit a three-run homer and put a game out of reach."
Pressley sick, Burton available out of Twins 'pen
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-handed reliever Ryan Pressly can't seem to catch a break.
Pressly -- who left Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader at Washington early due to a shoulder injury, and missed Tuesday's game against the Phillies -- also missed Wednesday's game not due to injury, but to sickness.
"He came in and the doctors sent him home," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's sick. Arm-wise, he feels good. But his arm is not going to help us today."
Meanwhile, right-hander Jared Burton was expected to be available Wednesday night. Burton left Saturday's 4-3 win over the Nationals early due to a groin issue. After missing three games -- including Sunday's doubleheader and Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Phillies -- Burton threw a bullpen session Wednesday and reportedly felt no issues in his leg.
"Burton threw out in the bullpen and feels good," Gardenhire said. "I'll talk to [pitching coach Rick Anderson] as we go along here to see how much he threw out there, but his leg felt fine."
• Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, on the disabled list retroactive to May 28 with a strained left calf, is getting close to making his return for the Twins. He went 2-for-4 with a homer in his second rehab game with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, and will play all nine innings for the Red Wings on Thursday. Plouffe is already eligible to return from the DL, and could be back as soon as this weekend.
• Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez has been showing good progress, but still isn't quite past the symptoms stemming from his concussion suffered on May 25. He remains on the 7-day disabled list, and there is still no official timetable for his return, but he has resumed light baseball activities. He's been taking swings off a tee and running, but the Twins aren't sure yet if he'll need to go on a rehab assignment.
• Right-hander Alex Meyer, who was acquired in the trade that sent Denard Span to the Nationals, had an MRI exam on his right shoulder on Tuesday after feeling discomfort. But it came back clean, according to Twins general manager Terry Ryan. Meyer is currently on the 7-day DL at Double-A New Britain, but the MRI confirmed the injury is not serious.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.