Kendrys eager to add to 500 RBIs milestone

April 16th, 2016

OAKLAND -- A day after becoming just the 13th Cuban-born player to reach 500 career RBIs, Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales said he still hasn't found his hitting groove this season and is looking forward to adding onto his milestone achievement.

Morales singled in Lorenzo Cain in the third inning of a 4-2 win over the A's on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series. That hit gave Morales No. 500 and seven RBIs in his first 10 games, one year after the 32-year-old had 106 RBIs in his first season with the Royals -- including an American League-leading and club record 53 with two outs.

"He never comes out of his approach, and by that he doesn't put too much significance on a certain situation," manager Ned Yost said on Saturday. "He's very stable, very solid. He just goes up there and goes about his at-bat."

Morales wasn't even aware of his achievement until he was told about it after the game. Even then, he downplayed it's significance and sounded more focused on adding to his RBI total.

"That's just a reminder for me to continue to work hard to produce and produce more," Morales said through an interpreter. "I obviously had a good game [Friday] and I'm feeling better, but I have to keep working to see if I can find that groove 100 percent."

He's getting close.

Entering Saturday, Morales had driven in at least one run in five of the previous seven games and had raised his batting average to a season-high mark of .243.

Morales said he's benefited from batting in a Royals lineup that has been very productive over the past two years.

"It's definitely good because it keeps you in the ballgame at all times," Morales said. "If you don't have success one day, you know you're going to have it the next day because there's guys on base."

Yost talked at length about Morales' comfort level at the plate no matter the situation and pointed to a ninth-inning situation against Minnesota on April 10 as a prime example. Morales fell behind in the count, 0-2, then fouled off two pitches before hitting a low inside pitch to center field for a tying sacrifice fly in a game Kansas City went on to win in 10 innings.

"He just finds a way to put the ball in play," Yost said.