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Position player pitching ... vs. his former club

Morales works ninth in second career appearance on mound
April 20, 2019

OAKLAND -- Things got so out of hand for the A’s in Saturday afternoon’s 10-1 loss to Toronto that veteran infielder Kendrys Morales made his second career pitching appearance in the ninth inning. Featuring a heater in the 80-85 mph range, Morales gave up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Billy

OAKLAND -- Things got so out of hand for the A’s in Saturday afternoon’s 10-1 loss to Toronto that veteran infielder Kendrys Morales made his second career pitching appearance in the ninth inning. Featuring a heater in the 80-85 mph range, Morales gave up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Billy McKinney but was able to strand three runners to end the frame.

After getting Alen Hanson to ground out to lead off the inning, Morales loaded the bags after issuing a walk and a single before hitting Brandon Drury with a pitch. After the sac fly, he issued a second walk before getting Eric Sogard to pop out.

“There’s a lot of responsibility in pitching,” Morales said. “In a situation like this, the team needed me to go in and get some outs and save some arms. Three outs is nothing.”

And though the Pitch F/X might have pegged virtually all of Morales’ pitches as sliders, he smiled and said, “No, no, no. Didn’t throw a single slider. … Just a regular fastball.”

Ironically, Morales’ only other pitching outing came last year, when he tossed a scoreless inning for the Jays against the A’s. Morales said his old teammates tried to give him a hard time once he got on the mound but that it didn’t impact him.

The 35-year-old became the first A’s position player to toe the rubber since Jake Smolinski tossed an inning on June 13, 2018. Morales’ career ERA now stands at 4.50.

“I spent a lot of years pitching in Cuba,” Morales said. “I really enjoy it.”