CINCINNATI -- Cardinals first baseman Brandon Moss knows who he is as a player.
"I am who I am," Moss said. "I'm not ever going to hit .300. I'm not ever going to be a three-hole hitter. I've got power, and I go up there to use that power. That's my role on the team, and that's what I do. … This year, I've done what my role is. I would like to be getting more hits, and I would like to be on base more for my teammates, and I'm working towards that to be more consistent, but at the same time, I feel like I'm doing what I'm here to do."
Moss doesn't start every day, and he's OK with that. He points out that he's never been an everyday player and probably won't ever be. His job, he argues, is to take advantage of every opportunity he does get to help the Cardinals.
On Wednesday, that opportunity arose with Matt Holliday needing a day off in left field, and Moss delivered in a big way, going 2-for-4 with two home runs and a walk and driving in three runs as his team went on to top the Reds, 12-7.
"We know that he gets on a good roll and he's -- we talked about before the game -- he's dangerous," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "You put him in the right situation and he's going to, and certain parks too I think play well for him. He's a guy that's going to hit the ball in the air. It's just a matter of if he's going to keep it fair and how far he's going to hit it."
Moss' two-hit game continues a torrid stretch for the utility man, who has recorded a hit in five of his last nine at-bats including three home runs and a triple.
"It doesn't do us any good or me any good to go up there and try to slap the ball the other way," Moss said. "I'm not that kind of hitter, and I'm not really capable of doing that. So to go up and do what I'm capable of doing and helping the team win games, that's a huge sense of pride."
Moss finally feels like he's fulfilling his role on the team. He spent much of last season trying to return from injury, ultimately playing in 51 games. Coming into this season, Moss had a chance to shake that season off and compete for some playing time at first with Matt Adams also coming back from an injury-plagued season.
However, Moss knew that coming in, his team's best chances to win were if Adams was healthy and playing well. Adams has done that, hitting a career-high .333/.386/.583.
And even though Moss knows that means his playing time will be harder to come by, he's OK with that.
"I don't think competition among teammates is ever a good thing, and I'll go on record saying that," Moss said. "You know over the course of a season you're going to get at-bats. That's the way it is. Things happen. Guys need rest. ... City [Adams] is a really good hitter, and I'm proud of him that he's showing that and doing the things that we know he's capable of doing. … I'm more than happy for City that he's gone out and done what he's done and solidified his spot in the lineup because when I look at him, I see him being capable of doing what he's doing."
Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.