The Blue Jays picked up a win in their series opener on the strength of two home runs from designated hitter, Kendrys Morales.
Kendrys Morales came through in the clutch for the Blue Jays again on Friday night, clubbing two home runs and putting the team on his back on the way to an 8-4 victory.
One of the Blue Jays’ biggest offseason acquisitions went deep in the 7th inning with a 2 run shot, and then followed with a 3 run blast in the 8th inning against Jumbo Diaz, putting the Jays ahead for good in the game. It was his 18th career multi-homer game, and his second shot was the biggest blow in a 5 run eighth inning.
Morales now has 6 home runs and 20 RBI through the team’s first 29 games, where he’s seen 115 at bats so far. He’s now hitting .243/.293/.435 on the young season as well, and has been one of the Blue Jays best hitters overall thus far.
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The switch-hitter has already added a few clutch moments to his Blue Jays’ resume, and has no doubt won a few hearts over in the process.
He had his first walk-off blast back on April 15th, leading the Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, giving the club just their 2nd win of the season at the time. It was also a big blast against the Rays that gave the team their first win of the season, when Morales hit a grand slam. In fact, Morales has been a real pain for the Rays thus far, providing 3 dingers and 10 RBI against the AL East rival alone.
Despite the highlight reel of early moments, he actually hasn’t hit that well in the clutch yet this year, overall anyway. For his career, Morales has been a proven clutch hitter though, with a .290/.364/.511 slash line with runners in scoring position. For the 2017 season, here is a look at his clutch stats.
As you can see, he’s actually been a little underwhelming overall, but then again, who hasn’t been on the offensive side of the ball, with the exception of Kevin Pillar and maybe Justin Smoak. However, for Morales it’s been a case of when he has delivered, it’s directly lead to victories, as was the case on Friday night.
As the team has struggled, the Cuban slugger has been the victim of a bit of unfair criticism from fans, but he’s hardly been the problem. In fact, without his presence on the roster, the Jays might have lost a few more games than they already have.