Morneau expects to return to lineup soon

Morneau expects to return to lineup soon

ST. LOUIS -- Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau planned to take swings Sunday morning and try to talk his way into the starting lineup by Monday.

Morneau left Friday night's game against the Cardinals because of pain in his left lat area, and he didn't play Saturday and was out of the starting lineup on Sunday. Morneau, batting .315, entered Sunday two points behind National League batting leader Josh Harrison of the Pirates. Morneau has 507 plate appearances and would qualify for the title if he didn't play again, but the injury was nowhere near that serious and he never considered shutting down.

"You want to be in control of that," Morneau said. "You want to finish healthy, finish strong. Obviously, if you're really injured, it's out of your control. But you want to finish healthy and finish right. I don't expect it should be too much longer."

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