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Morneau smacks three-run double in B-game

FORT MYERS, FLA. -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau said he is cautiously optimistic his concussion symptoms are behind him after seeing his first game action in more than eight months.

Morneau went 1-for-2 with a three-run double and played four innings at first base today in a B-game against the Pirates on a back field at the Lee County Sports Complex.

It was the first time Morneau had played in a game since July 7, when he suffered a concussion while trying to break up a double play in Toronto.

Morneau said his doctor gave him clearance to play after a one-hour phone conversation Monday. Morneau had gone to see that doctor for a check-up in Pittsburgh last Wednesday.

"The doctor said I'm not at risk more than anyone else that's out there," Morneau said. "That's what it came down to."

With his wife, Krista, and 5-month-old daughter, Evelyn, watching with about 200 fans, reporters and scouts, Morneau had an action-packed day.

He grounded to second base in his first at-bat off Pirates righthander Brad Lincoln. Then, in the third inning, Morneau came up with the bases loaded and lined a double down the right-field line.

Later in the inning, Morneau scored on a bloop single by Trevor Plouffe. There was a throw to the plate, and Morneau slid feet-first, though the play wasn't close.

Morneau said he didn't have any restrictions.

"It feels good," Morneau said. "It felt good for a while. You can only take batting practice for so long before you find out how it's going to react in a game."

Morneau said he will take Wednesday off, when the Twins play the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., and possibly play in Thursday's game against the Blue Jays.

:Right now everything feels good, and hopefully it'll feel good in a few hours," Morneau said. "The only way to find out is by going through it."

He added: "It's going to take a while to get back into game shape, but as the brain goes, we're hopefully past all the symptoms and all the rest of that stuff. And hopefully we're where we need to be."