Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi gets four hits in return from IL
Adalberto Mondesi’s return to the Royals’ lineup didn’t simply provide a spark Sunday afternoon. His hitting and speed on the bases were a like a lightning bolt hitting an offense that had been running at half-speed.
Mondesi, who last played in a major-league game on July 16, went 4 for 5 with three stolen bases and two runs scored in the Royals 6-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday.
“He was right in the middle of all of our offensive scenarios,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Four hits — he just looked great. He looked great at shortstop. I’m glad to have him back.”
Mondesi had been on the Injured List with a left shoulder subluxation he suffered while diving for a fly ball in foul territory at Kauffman Stadium against the Chicago White Sox.
The four hits matched his career high for a single game, as did his three stolen bases. The 24-year-shortstop waited four pitches into the first at-bat after he reached base in the first inning to steal second base.
“It was really nice to have him back out there doing what he does best, playing the game like it’s a game,” Royals pitcher Danny Duffy said. “It’s fun. It’s supposed to be fun. It hasn’t gone our way most of the time, but we have to treat every game like it’s a one-game series. That’s the mentality the rest of the year.”
Mondesi singled and stole second base in the first, second and seventh inning. He got himself into scoring position three times and scored twice.
“It was really fun,” Mondesi said of his first game back. “Like I say every time, just (want to) stay focused and finish hard in this last month.”
He scored the Royals’ first run of the game on a Hunter Dozier two-run double. He also scored the tying run in the seventh inning on Alex Gordon’s two-out double.
Despite having missed 41 games, Mondesi entered the day tied for the American League in triples (nine) along with teammate Whit Merrifield and Seattle’s Mallex Smith.
Mondesi, who led the AL in stolen bases when he went on the IL with 31, ranked third behind Smith (39) and Baltimore’s Jonathan Villar (32) going into Sunday’s game.
Mondesi passed Villar, who stole one base in the game, one game into his return. He slid feet-first each time in an effort to protect his shoulder.
“I’m ready to run every time,” Mondesi said. “If they give me (chances) that easy, I’m going to run every time.”
Mondesi spent a nine-game minor-league rehab stint with Triple-A Omaha from Aug. 20-30. He said his shoulder has felt normal during his rehab assignment, and he felt good about his timing and the way he was seeing the ball as he got ready to rejoin the major-league club.
“(I’ve been thinking about getting back) a lot, but it was a process,” Mondesi said. “Everything went okay, so I’m here and I just keep playing hard.”