AL Central

Brandon Moss Gradually Improving in Second Half for Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals' Brandon Moss hits a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Just when Brandon Moss‘s early season offensive woes could have been in jeopardy, the Kansas City Royals’ designated hitter has bounced back with a second half offensive surge to maintain a more prevalent role.

In 17 games since the All-Star Break, Moss has hit .267 with four home runs and 13 RBIs. The veteran has also decreased his strikeout ratio by more than four percent and averages a walk per every 7 at-bats, while staying above the Mendoza line for nearly half a month.

“A few weeks ago, I stopped looking up at the scoreboard every single time I went up there and worrying about what the numbers looked like,” Moss said. “They are what they are. It’s not the end of the season, so you can turn them around, but you’re not going to turn them around stressing about them.”

Certain improvements have been noticeable in past games, particularly Thursday’s series opener win against the Seattle Mariners. Moss collected his second multi-home run game of the season, one which tied the contest and another that plated the game’s final run.

“I put a better swing on that than I usually do curveballs,” Moss said on his game-tying home run. “I was happy to hit that one. Obviously that gave us a boost.”

Moss collected a single in Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Mariners, hitting safely in 11 of his last 14 games.

This consistency has proved essential for a Royals offense looking to regroup from a recent tough stretch. Kansas City has loss five of its past seven games and has only averaged just over two runs per game since the start of the Baltimore series.

Even with improved production, Moss may be platooned in certain games moving forward. The acquisition of Melky Cabrera means Moss will rotate with Alex Gordon and Jorge Bonifacio for starts depending on how each one matches up against opponents.

Moss is one of only four position players from Friday’s starting lineup not eligible for free agency after the season. If he can maintain a similar rhythm to the past month, it could not only justify his two-year, $12 million contract, but help the Royals maintain composure in the playoff hunt.

The Royals play two more games against the Mariners this weekend, looking to extend a 1.5 game cushion between the two for the second AL Wild Card. Moss is set to play his previous team, the St. Louis Cardinals, at Kaufmann Stadium on Monday and Tuesday.

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