Morneau has hot bat, but glove wowing Twins

Gardenhire impressed by resurgent first baseman's diving plays

Morneau has hot bat, but glove wowing Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Morneau was impressive again at the plate on Tuesday night with three hits against the White Sox, but it was his defense that caught the eye of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

Gardenhire saw Morneau make several diving plays at first, which indicates he isn't worried about the concussion-like symptoms that have plagued him in the past.

Morneau has started 36 of the club's 37 games, with only one of those starts coming as a designated hitter. It's been a big difference from last year, when Morneau began the year at DH for precautionary reasons and made a career-high 34 starts there.

Morneau, who turned 32 on Wednesday, has also been heating up at the plate. He extended his hit streak to 11 games by going 2-for-5 on Wednesday and leads the Majors in May RBIs with 17.

"He's playing well and swinging well," Gardenhire said. "He's healthy, which allows him to do all the extra work after games in the weight room, doing all the little things that he had to back off of because of the injuries. He looks good and feels great -- and it's his birthday -- so he's got a lot of things going."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.