Refined plate approach paying dividends for Moose

Refined plate approach paying dividends for Moose

CLEVELAND -- The new Mike Moustakas is a hitter Royals fans, coaches and teammates are having fun watching.

This Moustakas is the one driving the ball to all fields, especially left and left-center, parts of the ballpark he barely knew as a hitter before this season.

In Monday's 6-2 win over the Indians, Moustakas raked three more hits to the left side and one up the middle as part of a four-hit night that raised his average to .342. He now has three three-plus-hit games in the last week after posting two all of last season.

"We had a great night, shortening up with two strikes and just going the other way, just like Moose did in just about every at-bat," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Of course, now the complaint about Moustakas, once a dead-pull hitter, is that he never pulls the ball anymore.

"That's fine," Moustakas said, smiling. "It's always something. I feel like I'm good where I'm at."

Amazingly, Moustakas got three of his hits off Indians ace Corey Kluber, whom he sort of owns. He came into the game hitting .381 against Kluber.

"I know he's one of the best pitchers in the game," Moustakas said. "It's just one of those things that happen in baseball."

Moustakas said he is just staying with the approach he began in Spring Training in an effort to beat the shift.

"I'm not trying to let [the pitches] get deeper," he said. "I just want to see it longer. If there's a pitch I can pull, I will pull it.

"If I can't pull it, I'll hit it the other way."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.