Kendrys Morales accomplished a very rare feat during the sixth inning tonight against the Rangers, homering from both sides of the plate while driving in six runs.
The Angels scored nine runs in the inning. Morales sparked the rally with a two-run homer off starter Roy Oswalt and later added a grand slam off left-hander Robbie Ross. He’s just the third player in MLB history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning, joining Carlos Baerga (1993) and Mark Bellhorn (2002).
Morales is the second player in Angels’ history to collect two home runs in the same inning, joining Rick Reichardt (April 30, 1966). The six RBI are a new club record and the most in one inning in MLB since Juan Uribe had six on September 10, 2010 as a member of the Giants.
Oddly enough, Morales entered tonight’s action with just two home runs over his previous 26 games. The grand slam was the second of his career and his first since he infamously shattered his lower left leg jumping onto home plate on May 29, 2010. Quite a way to bust out of that power slump.
Oswalt ended up being charged with eight runs on 11 hits (including three home runs) over 5 1/3 innings. He now has an ugly 6.49 ERA in six starts with the Rangers, allowing 54 hits and seven home runs over just 34 2/3 innings.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.