Los Angeles Angels
designated hitter Kendrys Morales
was just looking to break out of a slump when he made some history.
The switch-hitting Morales hit two home runs -- one from each side of the plate -- and drove in six runs during the Angels' nine-run explosion in the sixth inning Monday against the Texas Rangers
. The six-RBI inning is a club record, one short of the American League record (Alex Rodriguez) and two short of the major league record (Fernando Tatis).
The Angels went on to rout the Rangers 15-8.
Morales is the 25th player in AL history to hit two home runs in one inning and only the second Angel (Rick Reichardt in 1966). He is the third switch hitter in major league history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning, joining Carlos Baerga of the Cleveland Indians
(1993) and Mark Bellhorn of the Chicago Cubs
"I'm very excited. Obviously, it's not an easy thing to do," Morales said through an interpreter. "At the same time, it seems like I was just lucky."
Morales could use some luck. Before his first home run in the sixth, he was in an 8-for-52 slump with seven strikeouts in his previous 13 at-bats (including his first two at-bats Monday). He hadn't hit a home run since July 17, and that homer was his only extra-base hit in his previous 67 plate appearances.
"We need Kendrys, and his last 100 at-bats or so, he hasn't been driving the ball, hasn't been swinging the bat the way he can," manager Mike Scioscia said.
"He just hasn't gotten into that comfort zone. At the plate at times, it just looks like he's searching for some things. Sometimes it only takes one swing, and hopefully he's going to start something good. He's too good a hitter to be down so long."
- Kendrys Morales
- Los Angeles Angels
- Texas Rangers
- Fernando Tatis