When you have a lineup that doesn't feature a lot of power or a lot of great on-base percentages, it sure helps to have a cleanup hitter who is as ridiculously effective as Justin Morneau has been this season. Morneau entered last night's game with a .345/.434/.619 line with runners in scoring position, and he proceeded to drive in three runs in last night's win with a sacrifice fly in the first and RBI singles in the seventh and eighth. This one night after Morneau drove in both of the Twins' runs in a 2-1 victory in the series opener against the Nats. His success in these situations has been critical, because he's gotten a ton of opportunities. Compare Morneau's number of plate appearances with runners in scoring position to the other Twins regulars (entering last night's game):
Morneau is not hitting the ball out of the park the way he has the past two years -- he's on pace for just 25 homers this season -- but his RBI total of 55 ties him with Carlos Quentin for second in the AL. This makes Morneau a powerful weapon and a crucial component of the Twins lineup.
The Twins rank sixth in the AL in runs scored despite sporting a worse team OPS than five of the teams that rank behind them. In no small part, this can be attributed to Morneau, who has consistently cleaned up in his ample opportunities to drive in runs.