KANSAS CITY -- The 2017 season hasn't been kind to Royals designated hitter Brandon Moss. He has hit less than .200 for most of the season and did not hit a home run in June. Usually when he talks to reporters, it's about the struggles he is experiencing and the way he's trying to improve.
So when the media huddled around Moss after the Royals' 4-3 win over the Tigers on Wednesday night, a game in which he scored the winning run and went 3-for-4, Moss basked in the limelight.
"This is really nice to talk to you guys about other things than [stinking]," Moss said. "I'm going to soak this in."
After the Royals fell in an early 1-0 hole, Moss tied the game on a home run, his second since May 26. When he hit a single in his next at-bat, he held two of the Royals' three hits at the time. However, Moss' most important at-bat of the game came in the ninth inning with the Royals trailing 3-2.
After shortstop Alcides Escobar walked with one out, Moss faced Tigers left-hander Justin Wilson. On Wilson's first pitch, a 96 mph four-seam fastball on the inner half of the plate, Moss drove the ball deep to right-center. Manager Ned Yost hoped the ball would leave the park. Moss knew it wouldn't.
"I was just hoping they weren't in 'no-doubles' [defense] on that side of the field," Moss said.
The hit was deep enough for Escobar to score and tie the game. Moss, who was credited with a double, advanced to third on the throw home.
"That's the kind of things we expect from a guy like that," third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "We knew what we were getting when we got him. He's capable of doing a lot of great things for us."
Three pitches later, Moss tagged on Alex Gordon's sacrifice fly to center field. He sprinted home and slid in ahead of the tag, winning the game. Moss ended the night with a .200 batting average for the first time since May 21, and for one of the few times this season, as the game's hero.
After the game, Yost said -- as he has before -- that Moss is capable of carrying a team. But Moss isn't trying to do that. His performance has worn on him. All he wants to do is help the team win as he did on Wednesday, he said.
"I'm not looking to go out and have my best year ever," Moss said. "I'm not looking to go out here and hit .300 or hit 40 home runs, I just want to contribute. I want to be a part of this team. I know if I can play anywhere close to what I'm able to play, I can be a big part of this team."