Fans support Moose in huge all-around game

Third baseman hears cheers as he drives in three, makes diving play

Fans support Moose in huge all-around game

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mike Moustakas has a message for every Royals fan who made the trip to Tropicana Field for Saturday night's 6-3 victory over the Rays.

He hears you.

"It was awesome," said the Royals All-Star third baseman of the steady stream of "Moose" chants that rained down from the stands on his three-RBI night. "I think there were a couple of 'boos' mixed in there, but it's awesome having the fans that we have coming out and traveling with us and having such a good support system all the way out here in Tampa.

"This is a great place, and having all the people out here cheering for us? It's awesome."

Moustakas delivered run-scoring doubles in consecutive at-bats in the fourth and fifth innings, and he added an RBI single in the ninth to round out the scoring for the surging Royals.

"He's swinging the bat really well," Royals manager Ned Yost said moments after Saturday's win. "He's using the whole field, which is impressive."

Over the past 10 games, Moustakas is batting .436 (17-for-39) with six doubles, four homers and 15 RBIs.

"I'm just seeing the ball good lately," Moustakas said. "I'm just trying to use my hands and make it as simple as possible."

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Moustakas also helped the Royals' cause by making a sensational defensive play in the fifth, diving to his right to corral a ringing one-hopper by Evan Longoria and then throwing to second to force out Daniel Nava.

"He's been playing great defense," said Yost. "His defense has been spectacular all year long. That was a big play right there to shut a rally down."

"I always pride myself on my defense," Moustakas said. "That's what this team is about. Go out and make plays for our pitcher.

"Everybody plays good defense here, and that's something that we always preach in Spring Training. We're going to go out and play great defense. We're going to hold them to the least amount of runs possible and score some runs when we can."

When asked what it's like to play for a team that's now a season-high 31 games over .500, Moustakas didn't hesitate.

"It's fun. It's always been fun coming to the ballpark, especially with this group of guys we have. We come in expecting to win every night. We come in to grind it out and play the game hard, and it translates on the field. I think that's why we're playing such good baseball."

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.