Royals benefiting from Morales' rebound

Royals benefiting from Morales' rebound

KANSAS CITY -- When the Royals signed Kendrys Morales to a two-year deal this past offseason, they were praying he would have a bounceback season.

Prayers answered.

Morales has come through with a .292 average and 17 homers, and on Monday night, in a 6-2 loss to the Twins, he reached the century mark in RBIs for the first time since 2009, when he recorded 108 with the Angels.

"It's kind of what we hoped for when we signed him, to bring a power component to the lineup, an RBI guy," manager Ned Yost said. "For him to bounce back after a couple of pretty tough years is phenomenal so far, with the doubles and RBIs. You feel good every time he walks up to the plate."

Morales' 100th RBI came in the first inning on a forceout that drove in Lorenzo Cain.

"I'm real happy to reach this milestone, and I appreciate my teammates that hit in front of me and score for me," Morales said through interpreter Pedro Grifol. "Now I've got to continue to work and keep going."

Morales missed all of Spring Training in 2014 and wound up hitting just eight homers with 42 RBIs over stints with Seattle and Minnesota. He knew he was better than that.

"I'm getting back to the type of player I was in 2008, 2009," he said. "I feel comfortable, and I feel happy to be having the year I'm having. But I have to continue to work."

When did Morales start to feel like his old self?

"I started feeling it in Spring Training," he said. "I give many thanks to the organization that gave me the opportunity and the confidence they had in me to bring me in and produce. And [thanks to] my teammates once again that get on base a lot and score for me."

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