Blue Jays DH Kendrys Morales enjoys 3-HR night

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 31: Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Kendrys Morales (8) hits the ball for a single during the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Chicago White Sox on July 31, 2017 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire)
Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire

Losers of four straight games entering Thursday, the Toronto Blue Jays have fallen well off the pace in the American League Wild Card race. John Gibbons’ team managed to end that losing streak Thursday night in Baltimore with an 11-8 victory, and designated hitter Kendrys Morales was a big reason why.

For the second time in his career Morales hit three home runs in a game, and his seven runs batted in was a single-game career high.

Morales, who finished the game 4-for-5 with four runs scored, grounded into a double play in his first at-bat in the top half of the first inning.

From that point on the Orioles pitchers had no answer for him, beginning with starter Jeremy Hellickson. Morales hit his first home run of the night in the top of the third, a two-run shot that drove in Josh Donaldson to trim the Blue Jays’ deficit to 3-2. Two innings later, Morales’ RBI single drove in Ryan Goins.

Hellickson, who allowed seven runs on seven hits, pitched 4.2 innings before being replaced by Richard Bleier. Morales would hit a three-run homer off of Bleier in the top of the sixth, and two innings later his solo shot off of Mychal Givens gave Toronto an 11-6 lead. Baltimore scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning, but that was as close as the Orioles would get.

With a batting average of .247, Kendrys Morales is up to 22 home runs on the season to go along with 63 runs batted in and a .745 OPS. Thursday was Morales’ first three-home run game since Sept. 20, 2015 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.

As a member of the Los Angeles Angels, Morales became the third player in MLB history (at the time) to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same inning on July 30, 2012.

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