Morales in Royals record books with 2-HR Game 1
DH joins Brett, Aikens as only KC players with multihomer game in postseason
KANSAS CITY -- With two solo homers against Astros right-hander Collin McHugh in Thursday night's 5-2 loss in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales became the third player in franchise history to record a multihomer game in the postseason.
Morales, who hit .290/.362/.485 with 22 homers and 106 RBIs during the regular season, went 2-for-4 with the two homers. He also lined out to right in the sixth and struck out in the ninth.
"Thank God I made hard contact," Morales said through a translator. "I was able to elevate and drive the balls out of the ballpark."
Morales connected on his first solo blast in the second inning on a 2-1 fastball from McHugh to get the Royals on the board, cutting their deficit to 3-1. The homer left the bat at 94 mph with a launch angle of 29 degrees, landing a projected 370 feet away, according to Statcast™.
"The first at-bat, I made a good pitch to him," McHugh said. "I went back and looked at it. It was a cutter up and in off the plate. That was six or seven inches off the plate and he turned on it -- not only turned on it, kept it fair, which is impressive."
The switch-hitter crushed his second homer in the fourth on a 1-1 changeup from McHugh. It left the bat at 108 mph with a launch angle of 36 degrees, landing a projected 402 feet away. It brought the Royals within a run of the Astros at 3-2.
"The second homer was a changeup out over the plate that he hooked," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's a good hitter -- 106 RBIs or whatever he has, the 20-plus homers. He does damage to the pull side left-handed. I thought Morales put together three of the best at-bats against McHugh of anybody in their order."
Morales joined Hall of Famer George Brett and Willie Aikens as Royals with a multihomer game in the postseason. Brett was the most recent one to do it, clubbing two homers against the Blue Jays in Game 3 of the 1985 AL Championship Series. The feat has been accomplished five times in franchise history, as Brett and Aikens each did it twice. Brett also holds the club's postseason record with a three-homer game in Game 3 of the '78 ALCS against the Yankees.