NEW YORK -- In the seventh inning of Monday's 6-0 win over the Yankees, one night after his 4-for-4 performance in a loss to the D-backs, Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur drilled Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda's 1-0 pitch to left-center field for his second home run in his last nine games.
The two-run drive put the Royals ahead by five and continued Francoeur's comeback from a difficult stretch to start the season.
"He's had some really good at-bats," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We think [Eric] Hosmer is right behind him, and [Alex] Gordon, too."
Prior to his home run on May 13, Francoeur had been homerless in his first 31 games to start the season. Francoeur and Yost have reason to believe that slump is now over. In batting practice before Sunday's game, Francoeur adjusted his approach with the help of Royals batting coach Kevin Seitzer. Since tweaking his swing, Francoeur is 5-for-10 with a home run, a triple and two RBIs.
"I definitely feel more comfortable," Francoeur said. "I was confident in what me and Seitz worked on, and I'm confident in the approach we're going to have. That was huge."
Francoeur said he tended to wrap his bat around his body while waiting for a pitch to be thrown, which kept him from taking a direct path to the ball with his bat. In the batting cage, Seitzer noticed the glitch and suggested that Francoeur rest his bat at more of an angle. The adjustment allowed for less movement in Francoeur's swing, enabling him to get to pitches more quickly.
"It feels good," Francoeur said. "Right now, I feel great. I feel comfortable. Kuroda pitched me tough tonight."
Francoeur said he went through some early frustrations this season, as his power numbers were slow to arrive. Last season, Francoeur finished with 20 home runs and 87 RBIs.
"I think there are times when you've got to make small adjustments, depending on what happens," Francoeur said. "This is one of those things where it's a small adjustment, but so far, it has paid off."