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Moss enjoys success with relaxed approach

MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- During Wednesday's win over the Tigers, designated hitter Brandon Moss hacked away in the batting cage behind the dugout. Moss, hitting .188 at the time, took to the simplest of hitting drills to try and find his swing. Not even that was going well.

"I couldn't hit the ball off the tee right," Moss said. "It was that bad."

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KANSAS CITY -- During Wednesday's win over the Tigers, designated hitter Brandon Moss hacked away in the batting cage behind the dugout. Moss, hitting .188 at the time, took to the simplest of hitting drills to try and find his swing. Not even that was going well.

"I couldn't hit the ball off the tee right," Moss said. "It was that bad."

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Moss turned to Royals assistant hitting coach Brian Buchanan and said, "I quit. I'm done. I'm not going to do this. I'm going to go try and figure out something while I hit."

In his next at-bat, Moss hit a home run -- his second since May 26 -- off Justin Verlander. He finished 3-for-4. In Saturday's 7-2 win over the White Sox, Moss hit another home run, his second in the past four games.

Moss has now gone 7-for-16 with seven RBIs over his last four games, raising his average to .208, its highest point this season.

Over the past few months, Moss tried a "million" mechanical fixes for his swing, he said. Nothing worked. As a player known for his power, he tried swinging for the fences. That backfired, too.

When Moss left the batting cage on Wednesday, his new goal was to relax. He quit thinking about the mechanics of his swing or what pitch to expect in what count. After spending the season hoping there would be an enlightening moment with his swing, Moss said he accepted that might not happen.

"You're going to have to go out and relax, and grind through the at-bats," Moss told himself.

Moss let go, and it worked. He scored the winning run on Wednesday. He drove in a season-high four runs on Thursday. After that game, Moss said he felt good for the first time this season.

"First time all year, I can say that and not be afraid it won't show up tomorrow," Moss said at the time.

When Eric Hosmer didn't start on Friday against the White Sox because of a family matter, manager Ned Yost put Moss in the cleanup spot. Moss went 1-for-4 with a run scored in the 7-6 walk-off win in 10 innings.

"I think once you get comfortable, you can start to sustain some production," Yost said. "He looks like he's very comfortable right now. He's swinging the bat much, much better."

Wilson Alexander is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.

Kansas City Royals, Brandon Moss