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Morales homers from both sides in win

July 31, 2012 - 20:00 By Korea Herald
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) ― Kendrys Morales broke out of a slump in a big way.

He homered from both sides of the plate during a nine-run sixth inning, capping the burst with a grand slam that sent the Los Angeles Angels romping past the Texas Rangers 15-8 Monday night.

“I’m very excited since it’s not an easy thing to do,” said Morales, a Cuban native who spoke through an interpreter. “They were good pitches, perhaps mistakes they made. I felt comfortable, and I was able to connect.”

Morales became the third switch-hitter in major league history to homer as a lefty and righty in the same inning. Carlos Baerga did it for Cleveland in 1993 and Mark Bellhorn of the Chicago Cubs duplicated the feat in 2002.

The Angels won the opener of the four-game series and closed within four games of AL West-leading Texas.

Morales connected for a two-run shot in the sixth as a lefty off Texas starter Roy Oswalt that put the Angels ahead 5-3. Morales then hit a grand slam off Robbie Ross from the right side.

Morales became the 25th player in AL history to hit two home runs in the same inning.

“We need Kendrys and his last 100 at-bats he hasn’t been driving the ball or swinging like he can, so it’s good to see,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Mike Trout homered, drove in four runs and scored three times for the Angels. Maicer Izturis also homered and Albert Pujols doubled twice and singled.

Josh Hamilton hit his 29th homer, doubled and singled for Texas. Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli also homered for the Rangers.

Ervin Santana (5-10) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings. Oswalt (3-2) was chased in the sixth, and allowed eight runs and 11 hits.

The Angels ended a 24-inning scoreless drought when Izturis hit a solo homer in the second. Trout added a two-run shot in the third.

Pedroia powers Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) ― Boston manager Bobby Valentine has been around long enough to understand how fiery second baseman Dustin Pedroia takes each at-bat.

“Dustin is the most determined, talented player I’ve ever seen,” Valentine, in his first year with the Red Sox, said after Pedroia’s two-run homer broke a tie and helped Boston to a 7-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

“He was upset after he left the runner on second (in his previous at-bat),” Valentine said. “I knew he was going to do something.”

Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP, also finished with three RBIs to support Clay Buchholz’s eight solid innings that carried Boston to its third straight win.

With the game tied 2-all in the sixth, Pedroia homered into the first row of seats above the Green Monster after Crawford drew a leadoff walk.

Buchholz (9-3) allowed two earned runs and five hits. He improved to 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA in his last eight starts.

“Everything feels in synch right now,” he said of his recent success.

He not only feels like he’s on a roll, but feels the team may be getting on a run, too.

“It’s pitching and hitting at the same time,” he said. “You’ve got to pitch and hit well to go on a streak like we need to go on.”

Reds’ 10-game streak ends

CINCINNATI (AP) ― The Cincinnati Reds’ 10-game winning streak came to an end Monday night as Will Venable drove in four runs that led the San Diego Padres to an 11-5 victory.

Former Reds had starring roles in stopping Cincinnati’s run. Edinson Volquez (7-7) got the win, and Yonder Alonso tied a Padres record with three doubles.

The Reds were aiming for the club record of 12 consecutive wins, shared by the 1939 and 1957 teams. Not even close.

Mike Leake (4-7) retired five batters in his shortest start. The Reds walked a season-high 11. Rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco was ejected for arguing ball-and-strike calls. He poked at plate umpire Chad Fairchild’s chest protector and bumped him before leaving.

Baltimore 5, NY Yankees 4

Atlanta 8, Miami 2

Chicago Cubs 14, Pittsburgh 4

Milwaukee 8, Houston 7

Minnesota 7, Chicago White Sox 6

Seattle 4, Toronto 1

Arizona 7, LA Dodgers 2

NY Mets 8, San Francisco 7