After ending the longest power outage of his career, Justin Morneau had a choice.
Entering the home dugout in the sixth inning Wednesday night to find, well, no one waiting for him, the Twins' first baseman had to think fast.
"Stand there and look like an idiot or high five the air like an idiot," Morneau said after his two-run homer keyed a 7-4 win over the Chicago White Sox. "I chose to high-five the air like an idiot."
And why not?
Morneau's blast to right field didn't just tie him with the late Kirby Puckett for fifth all-time in Twins history at 207.
"I was aware I was chasing him for a while," Morneau said.
The two-run, 370-foot shot off a hanging curveball from right-handed reliever Deunte Heath ended Morneau's homer drought at 45 days and a whopping 168 at-bats.
"Hopefully that gets the monkey off my back," Morneau said after surviving his teammates' temporary cold shoulder in the dugout.
His previous longest drought had covered 108 at-bats in August 2007, back when he was the reigning American League most valuable player.
This time Morneau, with just two homers in his previous 229 at-bats since last Sept. 12, couldn't have been blamed for wondering if he'd ever connect again.
"He's been trying to hit a home run, believe me," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's been driving in runs and producing, but Morny's used to seeing the ball go in the seats."
That finally happened Wednesday for the first time since April 28 against Texas right-hander Alexi Ogando.
There had been 12 doubles and 27 runs batted in for Morneau in the 43 games he'd played since he last homered. However, his slugging percentage had dipped to .381, sixth on the team, and he had been dropped to fifth in the batting order.
His combined on-base/slugging percentage the past month and a half was just .723.
Six hours before Wednesday's long-overdue breakthrough, Morneau had put himself through a marathon session of extra hitting on the field with batting coach Tom Brunansky.
It was during those drills, which Morneau had tried earlier in his power slide, that the veteran slugger felt a cosmic click of sorts.
Suddenly, he realized he didn't have to work so hard to generate power to the pull side. In fact, he didn't have to work at all. He just had to swing.
Morneau flailed at a Chris Sale curveball for strike three in the first, singled in the third and flied to right to end the fourth.
Just before his homer, he pulled a loud foul into the camera well at the far end of the Twins' dugout. Later, Morneau said he thought that might have been the hardest ball he'd ever pulled that far foul.
What did it tell him about his swing?
"That just told me I'm probably quicker than I think," he said. "That kind of let me know there's some bat speed in there."
Translation: He still had it.
Moments later, Morneau crushed a 2-1 hanger and had no doubt it was gone.
It speaks to Morneau's place on this team that his gratifying trip around the bases was punctuated with a bit of classic baseball humor: the silent treatment.
"We gave him a little hard time," said Twins starter Kevin Correia, who improved to 6-4. "Big guy like that (takes) that long to hit a home run, we gave him the cold shoulder when he came in. It was nice. It couldn't have come at a better time."
Josh Willingham, who had singled ahead of Morneau, greeted him at home plate. But once they reached the dugout steps, it was a ghost town.
"I had a lot of imaginary friends there," Morneau said. "I've seen that done a few times. Never had that done to me."
He figured Brunansky had to be the mastermind after staying late Tuesday night "to talk things out (again) with the frustrated slugger.
"I'm sure Bruno had something to do with it," Morneau said. "That was fun. That was a good day."
And well worth celebrating with a round of idiotic air slaps.