For a brief moment Tuesday evening at Kauffman Stadium, Mike Moustakas gave the Royals an opportunity to sigh in relief.
Moustakas squared up Boston starter Chris Sale’s 1-0 offering in the second inning of a scoreless game and sent it into the right-field stands.
The two-out home run — the longest Sale has given up to a lefty hitter since 2015, according to MLB Statcast — was Moustakas’ 100th career blast, and his 19th of the season. It put the Royals up 1-0, a lead the Red Sox quickly evened on a Mookie Betts RBI hit in the third on their way to an 8-3 win over the Royals.
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“I wish it would’ve (come) in a win, for sure,” Moustakas said. “But it’s definitely pretty cool to hit 100 homers in the major leagues. … That’s a great pitcher on the mound over there. After that, he just settled into his rhythm and did what he does.”
Moustakas became the 16th player to hit 100 homers in a Royals uniform. Alex Gordon (154), Eric Hosmer (110) and Salvador Perez (101) are also on that list.
“These milestones are jumping up on us,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
For the stat-heads
The exit velocity on Moustakas’ homer was 106.8 mph with a launch angle of 25 degrees. Aaron Judge’s average exit velocity is 96.7 mph — so maybe that counts for something.
The Royals also pointed out after the game that Moustakas’ 19 home runs before the All-Star Break, which is about three weeks away, are the most since Mike Sweeney hit 21 in 2001. Jermaine Dye hit 22 first-half home runs in 2000.
Moustakas is averaging 13.3 at bats between homers. Time to crunch some numbers.
Also, check out Moose Watch: The Steve Balboni tracker.