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Morales makes unexpected, effective Twins debut

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Kendrys Morales made a surprise debut for the Minnesota Twins on Monday.

It nearly worked out well for Minnesota. Batting sixth in the order and serving as the designated hitter, he hit a single with one out in the ninth inning to start a rally that netted two runs to tie the game 4-4. However, the Toronto Blue Jays won it 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth.

Morales, who left for a pinch runner in the ninth, also walked to load the bases in the sixth, part of a rally that was killed by a double play.

The veteran's debut was unexpected. When the Twins announced Sunday that they signed Morales as a free agent, the word was that he would take a while to get ready to play. He had not played in organized baseball since Sept. 29.

"He's been sitting for four months," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's thought about it. He watched the game (Sunday) and he wants to play. I've got no problem with that. I told him he's got to let me know how he's feeling."

Morales was working out six days a week at agent Scott Boras' facility in Florida.

"I have never done this before," Gardenhire said before Monday's game at Rogers Centre. "He wants to play. He's been working out. He's been swinging against pitchers down there in Florida against guys who are looking for jobs, and he's been hitting off those guys. It's good enough for me. You can wait two weeks. You can wait three or four days. I don't have a timeframe. He's been working out."

It was worth the chance. After striking out and grounding out in his first two at-bats, Morales helped make things happen and didn't look as if he had been away since last September.
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