SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas, eager to wipe out what caused his second-half drop-off last season, is continuing to wear out the baseball.
His two hits in Tuesday's 7-2 loss to the Rockies gave Moustakas a healthy .426 average in the Cactus League to go with three home runs and nine RBIs.
The Royals (17-6-1), now hitting .327 as a team, lead the Majors in hitting, but even better news is that they're a close third in runs at 149 in their 24 games. During the regular season last year, they ranked 20th in the Major League in scoring and third-to-last in the American League. That trend seems to have reversed.
"That's what we do on this team -- one through 10, 11, 12," Moustakas said. "We've got guys that can hit and we're going to be able to put up some runs on the board, and with the pitching staff we have this year and the defense that we always put out there, it's going to be a lot of fun to watch and come see."
His homer off Rockies starter Juan Nicasio sailed over the right-field wall, and he also singled.
"Moose was on everything today," manager Ned Yost said. "He really smoked the ball. He had great swings and was on everything."
Moustakas also gunned down Troy Tulowitzki after a diving stop to his right in the first inning.
"He's been really close on all his diving plays," Yost said. "He's been fine-tuning it and getting into midseason form with it, and made a great one today," Yost said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less