Moya has three hits in loss, including first homer

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Kansas City, Mo. — It took three years — though only 75 plate appearances — but Tigers outfielder Steven Moya finally bashed his first major league home run on Sunday.

“Just a happy feeling,” Moya said. “I got that one out of the way, that first one. Feels great. Thanks to God. I am grateful for that.”

He got his money’s worth. He ambushed a first-pitch fastball from Tigers nemesis Chris Young in the third inning and hit it over the bullpen and into the bleachers in right field. ESPN Stats measured it at 442 feet.

“It only had to be 387 or something,” Moya smiled. “All it had to do was clear that first fence…But when you hit that ball, you know you got it. You got it good. There it goes, the first one. It was a beautiful feeling.”

The Tigers, with the help of the Kauffman Stadium crew, were able to get the ball back for him. It turned out to be the lone run for the Tigers in a 2-1, 13-inning loss to the Kansas City Royals. Moya wound up with three of the Tigers’ five hits.

“I wanted to get that first one, I am not going to lie,” he said. “But I still wanted to focus on getting everything in place, seeing pitches, seeing how pitchers work. I know I can hit homers. They know I can hit homers. I wasn’t worried about it.

“I was just trying to get my mind right and start to know what the pitchers and what they want to do with me.”

He had one little mishap on the bases, however. It came in the top of the 13th. He was on first after reaching on a fielder’s choice. With James McCann batting, manager Brad Ausmus called for a hit-and-run.

Moya took off with his head down and didn’t react to McCann’s routine fly ball to right. He was doubled off to end the inning.

“You want to peek in and see where the ball is coming off the bat,” Ausmus said. “He didn’t peek in.”

Duly noted, Moya said.

“Maybe a little bit overaggressive,” he said. “I maybe should have looked in a little earlier. I was trying to look but the ball was behind me. Then when I tried to get back it was too late.”

Twitter: @cmccosky