Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Kendrys Morales (8) celebrates his sixth inning grand slam with third base coach Dino Ebel (21) against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Angels entered their four-game series against the Rangers in third place in the American League West, five games behind Texas and a half-game behind second-place Oakland. In the opener Monday night, the Angels took a 3-2 lead in the third on rookie Mike Trout's two-run homer, but Josh Hamilton made it 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth with his 29th home run of the season.
The score was still 3-3 heading into the sixth inning, when the Angels erupted for nine runs. With Roy Oswalt still on the mound for the Rangers, Albert Pujols led off with a double to deep right-center field. Then Morales, batting left-handed against the righty Oswalt, lined a hanging curveball over the right-field fence for a two-run homer.
After an out and three straight singles, Oswalt was lifted in favor of rookie reliever Robbie Ross. Four batters later -- which included an out, two more singles, and an intentional walk to Pujols -- Morales came up again, this time with the bases loaded. Batting right-handed against the lefty Ross, Morales drove a fastball the other way, carrying the fence just above Nelson Cruz's leaping effort in right-center field.
The only other players with homers from both sides of the plate in one inning have been Carlos Baerga (in 1993) and Mark Bellhorn (2002). Morales is also just the second Angel in franchise history to homer twice in one inning; all the way back in 1966, Rick Reichardt did it.
Meanwhile, Oswalt gave up eight runs in his 5⅓ innings, and now carries a 6.49 ERA after six starts. The Rangers have already been thinking about acquiring a starting pitcher to replace Colby Lewis, who's been lost for the rest of this season with an injury. Now they might be worried about Oswalt, too.