Morales hits 2-run HR in 8th, Angels rally past KC
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Switch-hitter Kendrys Morales has been struggling from the right side of the plate all season.
When he pinch-hit in the eighth inning, the Royals brought in a left-hander trying to play the percentages. The move backfired.
Morales hit a two-run homer and the Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 9-7 victory over Kansas City on Friday night.
Several hours before the game, a man shot and wounded a female parking lot employee between the stadiums that are home to the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals before killing himself, police said.
The pair were both in their 40s and knew each other, but police did not elaborate on their relationship. The woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
There was no mention of the shooting over the public address system at Kauffman Stadium.
Morales entered the game with a .209 batting average and four home runs batting right-handed, and .290 with 14 home runs swinging left-handed.
"He's got power from both sides," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's strong. There's no doubt he can drive the ball from the right side. This year it's really clear that any opposing manager wants to get him on the right side. It's the right move to make and fortunately he came through."
Morales does not care if opponents think he is a weak right-handed hitter.
"Just let them think that," he said through an interpreter.
Morales homered on the first pitch from Tim Collins (5-3) with Mark Trumbo aboard to make it 7-all.
"That situation called for being aggressive," Morales said. "That was like a new breath of fresh air for the team."
Collins threw 11 pitches, faced four batters and retired none, allowing two singles and hitting Albert Pujols on an 0-2 count.
"I think I made a rookie mistake and gave Morales exactly what he was looking for," Collins said. "After that, I made some good pitches and they hit them. I just tried to do too much. He was looking fastball in that situation. Coming out of the bullpen I have to not give him something to hit."
Jeremy Jeffress replaced Collins and walked Torii Hunter on five pitches with the bases loaded to force home Mike Trout with the go-ahead run. Hunter is hitting .431 with 15 RBIs in his past 16 games.
"A big hit from Kendrys and a big at-bat from Torii," Scioscia said.
Jordan Walden (3-2), the fourth of six Angels pitchers, picked up the victory, although he threw only two pitches. Ernesto Frieri got his 19th save in 21 opportunities.