Willingham thumping more at home than on road

Willingham thumping more at home than on road

Willingham thumping more at home than on road
MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh Willingham has had no problems hitting home runs at Target Field since becoming a Twin.

Fourteen of the right-hander's 22 home runs this season have come in 41 home games after Saturday's contest. He's experienced less success away from Target Field, hitting eight homers in 42 road games. His slugging percentage on the road is a robust .473, but at home it's an astounding .660.

None of Willingham's power has surprised Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

"He's a pull hitter," Gardenhire said. "[Left field] is probably the friendliest area for home runs [at Target Field]. But he's not afraid to go to center field. He's not afraid to go to left-center field. He's just a strong young man."

Willingham's two home runs on Friday marked his 11th career multihomer game, as well as his fifth season with 20-plus dingers. This year marks his fastest trip to the 20-plus plateau, though, as he needed only 82 games. He needed 96 games last year to hit 20 homers on the way to finishing with a career-high 29.

"He's kind of entertaining to watch," Gardenhire said. "He's got a chance every time he goes up there, because he's so damn strong."