Kendrys keeps swinging red-hot bat vs. Cards

Royals right fielder belts long homer, bats .750 over 4-game I-70 Series

Kendrys keeps swinging red-hot bat vs. Cards

ST. LOUIS -- The problem with analyzing Royals right fielder Kendrys Morales right now is trying to single out which statistic overwhelms you the most.

With two doubles and a monstrous home run in a 4-2 win over the Cardinals on Thursday night, Morales continued his sizzling tear.

Let's start with what Morales did in the four-game I-70 Series with the Cards: 12-for-16 (.750).

Or, you can go back over the last six games -- Morales had multiple hits in each one of them, and went 16-for-24 in that stretch.

How about his last 15 starts? Morales hit .491 in those (28-for-57).

Morales on big game, 4-2 win

Let's go back further: Since the beginning of June, Morales is hitting .402, and that has lifted his average from .193 to .262.

And to think that in late May, some finicky fans wanted Morales out of the lineup. Royals manager Ned Yost refused to budge back then.

"You stick with guys with a proven record," Yost reiterated on Thursday night. "I knew it was a matter of time."

To be fair, even Morales can't remember a hot streak this hot.

"I haven't had a streak like this in the big leagues," Morales said almost sheepishly through interpreter Pedro Grifol.

The Cardinals certainly had no answers for Morales on Thursday. He doubled in the fourth, and doubled in a run in the sixth. Then, he crushed a ball off the façade of the third deck at Busch Stadium, a ball estimated to have traveled 456 feet from the plate by Statcast™, which also estimated an exit velocity of 115.6 mph.

Morales' double plates Gordon

Outside of an airplane, has Morales ever been in anything that went that fast?

"No, no," he said, smiling, "I don't drive that fast."

Added Yost, "There's been some hard hit balls this year, but that one was definitely smoked."

Aside from its analytical data, the home run helped the Royals with the most important metric of all -- a win.

The homer gave the Royals a two-run cushion at 4-2.

"It was big, to get us away from that one-run lead, give us a little two-run lead right there," Yost said. "We knew that we had Kel [Herrera] and Wade [Davis] coming in the ballgame. Anytime you can tack on runs late, it's big."

Morales somewhat uncharacteristically stared the homer down. Perhaps even he was in awe?

"No, at that time of the ballgame we were able to get a tack-on run. It felt good," he said.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.