Third baseman deflects credit to Vargas for role in KC's third straight victory
KANSAS CITY -- Mike Moustakas stood in front of his locker before the Royals took on the Orioles Thursday, confidently fielding questions from reporters just like he did after the 3-2 win over the Rockies on Wednesday.
But his message was different one day after he deflected multiple inquiries about his personal performance -- Moustakas smacked a pair of doubles, including one that cleared the bases -- and repeatedly praised his starting pitcher Jason Vargas.
"I answered a question. ... I felt like I answered the question how I wanted to and it started being sort of funny toward the second or third time," Moustakas said. "I am not much on talking about myself, I never have been, so with what happened yesterday I hope it wasn't mis-received."
Moustakas came under fire this week when questions and calls for a possible demotion arose. The third baseman was hitting just .161 through the first month-and-a-half of the season.
"With all the questions and speculations and all that, that's what your [reporters'] job is to do, and my side is to go out there and play the game the best I can and try and perform on a professional level," Moustakas said.
In the second inning of the Royals' third-straight victory on Wednesday, Moustakas lined a double down the right-field line to score three runs and give Kansas City a 3-0 lead. Vargas kept the lethal Rockies offense at bay from that point on, allowing just two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
"Everything was kind of focused on me a little bit, and I'm not that kind of guy, I've always been the guy that passes it off to the guys that deserve the credit," Moustakas said. "[Vargas] threw a great game for us last night and that was kind of lost stuff."
Moustakas was out of the starting llneup for Thursday's game as right-handed hitting Danny Valencia started at third with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on the mound. Moustakas will get the call at third base on Friday night when right-hander Chris Tillman goes for Baltimore.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com.