Kendrys Morales becomes third player ever to homer from both sides of the plate in same inning

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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.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below:

The Mets are promoting Tim Tebow to Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the media on Sunday that the organization is promoting outfielder Tim Tebow from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Tebow, 29, wasn’t hitting particularly well to merit the promotion. Across 241 plate appearances with Columbia, he hit .222/.311/.340 with three home runs and 22 RBI. He had just seven extra-base hits (all doubles) in his most recent 20 games. Alderson, however, defended the decision by citing Tebow’s exit velocity and other metrics.

I think we can all agree that the real reason is that promoting Tebow creates another opportunity for the Mets to sell merchandise with his name on it.

One has to feel for the outfielder Tebow will displace. St. Lucie’s regular outfielders have comparable stats to Tebow’s, so they aren’t exactly being replaced on merit. That outfielder will see less playing time, hurting his future prospects. Adding Tebow to St. Lucie’s roster will push someone off of the roster, which will also harm that player’s future prospects. And, remember, these players don’t make much money to begin with.