Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Alds: Game 3

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Alds: Game 3

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The postseason can often have a way of turning a player's longtime struggles into success, taking the ordinary into extraordinary.

That was the case last year with Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas. After struggling greatly for much of his career, the left- handed hitter took his game to another level during last year's run to the World Series.

Moustakas then followed that up with the best season of his career, hitting .284 with 22 home runs and 82 RBIs to go with a .348 on-base percentage. Moustakas, though, is still looking for his first hit in the American League Division Series against Houston. He is 0 for 6 with a walk through the first two games, but he'll get an opportunity to end that mini slump when the Royals take on the Astros in Game 3 of the ALDS at 3:10 p.m. Sunday in Houston.

"I'm really just trying to focus on getting on base and let these other guys drive me in," Moustakas said. "That's kind of what I went back to doing at the beginning of the year, getting my hands ready to hit and just using that. Get rid of all the moving parts and just use my hands, which is my strength and what I use really well."

Kansas City right-hander Edinson Volquez, who went 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA in the regular season, will face Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA.

Moustakas and the Royals have faced Keuchel twice this season, losing at Minute Maid Park and winning at Kauffman Stadium. Keuchel, who started this year's All-Star Game and could be the league's Cy Young winner, went 15-0 at home during the regular season. The Royals, though, beat Keuchel 5-1 in late July. Moustakas, however, didn't play as he got the day off.

Moustakas hit just .188 in July, and at the time he also was dealing with a family matter. His mother was ill and she later died in August.

"Baseball's baseball," Moustakas said. "You're not going to go out there and have a phenomenal month every month. …

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