Mondesi flashes power with 1st MLB home run

Royals rookie also contributes to 2-run 8th in win over Tigers

Mondesi flashes power with 1st MLB home run

DETROIT -- For the second time this season, a Royals rookie got his first Major League home run off Tigers ace and longtime Royals nemesis Justin Verlander.

Go figure.

Earlier this season, it was Brett Eibner, who has since been traded, who went deep off Verlander at Kauffman Stadium. This time it was Raul Mondesi, who slammed his first Major League homer off Verlander in the Royals' 6-1 win on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

"You know, it was something special for me getting my first homer against that kind of pitcher," Mondesi said. "It was a little cutter, that didn't cut too much. I dropped my hands in front of it."

The ball was drilled, but it was hooking toward the right-field foul pole.

"I knew it would stay fair," Mondesi insisted. "That's why I started running."

And grinning. When Mondesi saw it go out, he couldn't resist a huge smile.

"You know, I'm never really looking toward that," Mondesi said. "I just go up there and do my best. I'm never looking for a home run. So that was nice. That's why I smile."

The homer also put manager Ned Yost in a good mood.

"We knew it was coming sooner or later," Yost said. "We know he's got power. He's a skinny kid who will continue to fill out and grow. We got to see that power tonight."

Mondesi also came up with a huge plate appearance in the two-run eighth. With runners on second and third, Mondesi drew a walk off Verlander on a 3-2 pitch. That loaded the bases and finished the night for Verlander. The Royals then added two runs, making it 5-1.

"It was a huge walk at that point," Yost said. "Second and third, no outs. It brought the top of the order back up and a chance to tack on runs, and it was a big two runs."

Added Mondesi, "He was throwing only fastballs. I was looking for that. I missed my first pitch. Put a good swing on it, but just missed it. But I got the walk and helped the team score the runs. That's good."

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.