KANSAS CITY -- Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales is in the midst of a compete turnaround. Before missing a few games with a sprained middle finger in late May, he was hitting just .187. However, since that time, he's worked on his pitch selection, and the results have showed.Morales went
KANSAS CITY -- Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales is in the midst of a compete turnaround. Before missing a few games with a sprained middle finger in late May, he was hitting just .187. However, since that time, he's worked on his pitch selection, and the results have showed.
Morales went 4-for-5 with five RBIs in a 16-5 win over the Tigers on Saturday night, raising his on-base percentage for the series to .714.
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"He's a big key to our lineup. He's a big time run producer," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You just [knew] it was a matter of time before he finally got hot."
Morales also enjoyed several milestones on his Bobblehead Day at Kauffman Stadium. It was his first game with five RBIs since May 22, 2015, in addition to logging his 200th career double. But more important was his continued improvement at the plate, which he attributed to better pitch selection.
"I'm making good hard contact and [the hits] are falling," Morales said through interpreter Pedro Grifol.
Still, as Morales came up for his fourth plate appearance, he had yet to command the respect of a .323 hitter. Prior to his at-bat, Tigers right-hander Albert Wilson intentionally walked Royals catcher Salvador Perez. With Perez on a red-hot streak of his own, the decision seemed like the right one, but Morales was quick to make them pay for it.
Morales smacked the ball down the right-field line for a double to score Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer -- his second and third RBIs of the contest.
"As a competitor, you want to shove [an intentional walk] right back in their face," Hosmer said. "When it happens, you want to prove them wrong."
Morales had one more chance to put on a show for the sellout crowd of 38,480 on what he refereed to after the game as "his Bobblehead Day." As he stepped to the plate in the eighth inning, the Royals led 12-5 and the bases were loaded.
Ahead in the count 1-2, Tigers right-hander Mark Lowe threw a pitch inside that Morales just nearly avoided. If it had hit Morales, one run would've scored. Instead, Morales knocked a single to center on the next pitch, capping off the day with his fourth hit and RBIs Nos. 4 and 5.
"I'm just fortunate I was able to put on a good showing for my [Bobblehead] day," Morales said.
Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City.