In the fifth inning, Brandon Moss connected on an opposite field home run off Justin Verlander to give the Oakland Athletics a 5-3 lead on the way to a rain-shortened 6-3 win over the the Detroit Tigers.
The home run was the fourth for Moss in eight games. It was also his 22nd of the season, which is a new career-high for the 29-year-old. The drive punctuated what was a solid night for Moss against the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP, as he went 1-for-2 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs.
It’s not terribly surprising that Moss would enjoy success off a right-hander. The home run off Verlander was his 20th off righties in 2013. With that home run, eight of his last 12 hits have gone for extra bases, and five of them have been home runs.
The left-hander hitter certainly strikes out quite a bit as he’s already racked up 113 this season. That’s tied with Yoenis Cespedes for tops on the team. In fact, the statistical parallel between the corner outfielders extends much further:
Moss: 22 HRs, 60 RBIs, three triples, 113 strikeouts, .245 average
Cespedes: 20 HRs, 60 RBIs, three triples, 113 strikeouts, .225 average
As of late, Moss has also been cutting down on the swings and misses. In 32 games since the All-Star Break, Moss has struck out 20 times after K-ing 93 times in 87 games before the break.
Moss also doesn’t do much damage off lefties in his limited time against them, as he’s hitting just .177 off LHP in 62 at-bats. His overall average is much lower (.245) this year than last (.291), but with the type of power that he displayed at Comerica Park against Verlander, the Athletics will take it.