DETROIT — Mike Scioscia finally made the move that made sense to so many others, flip-flopping Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo in the fourth and fifth spots against an American League right-handed pitcher for Tuesday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
It marked the first time Trumbo batted cleanup against a right-hander with Morales in the same lineup. Trumbo, who has been hitting fourth against left-handers, hit cleanup against five right-handers in National League parks.
Trumbo has clearly earned the promotion. He entered Tuesday with a league-leading .625 slugging percentage, he ranked fourth with 25 home runs, seventh with 62 runs batted in and fifth with 43 extra-base hits. An All-Star, Trumbo also had a .309 average and .361 on-base percentage.
He hit a three-run home run to left-center field to highlight a four-run first inning against the Tigers.
But Scioscia gave the impression that the switch had as much to do with Morales’ struggles as it did with Trumbo’s emergence as one of baseball’s best young sluggers.