CINCINNATI — Following a night he says he’ll remember for the rest of his life, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was traveling on a team charter to Chicago and planned to get a flight from there to California early Wednesday morning to spend 24 hours or so with his ailing mother.
"Hang out with her for a little bit and then come back ready go for the doubleheader (against the White Sox) on the first day of the second half" of the season, he said.
Moustakas has declined to elaborate on the illness of his mother, Connie, but it began last year and he has twice left the team this season on family emergency.
Last time, his departure was mid-game on July 5, and he returned to the team on July 10 — the same day he was named to the All-Star team, a circumstance that led to a flood of mixed emotions for Moustakas.
The experience as an All-Star at the Great American Ballpark was in a sense limited for Moustakas, who batted just once, striking out in the ninth inning against frightful Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman.
If Moustakas had any trouble with jitters after waiting so long to play, he joked, he snapped to life "after the first 102 mile-per-hour fastball."
Just the same, he relished the experience.
"Not negative by any means," he said. "I got to play in my first All-Star Game. It’s a memory I’m going to have for the rest of my life of my life, and it’s something that I’m going to cherish even though I did strike out.
"It’s nothing to hang my head over at all. I was able to play in an All-Star game, facing the best players in the world."