Kendrys Morales sat and watched, then stood and swatted.
The Angels' designated hitter, given the start off because of a left-handed starting pitcher, was summoned with the bases loaded and two outs in a tied eighth-inning game against the Kansas City Royals on Monday.
Morales watched a ball go by from reliever Greg Holland, then let loose a power swing on a fastball, the hit soaring to the wall in right-center field for a three-run single that gave the Angels a 6-3 victory at Angel Stadium.
Morales, whose name has surfaced in recent non-waiver trade deadline rumors, hasn't started in three of the last four games with Manager Mike Scioscia opting to employ a speedier lineup that includes center fielder Peter Bourjos.
Morales bats more than a dozen points higher against right-handers like Holland, and has driven in 32 of his 38 runs batted in from the right side.
Scioscia said Morales has been in a hitting slump, "chasing a lot of pitches"
"But I hope this is a start for him. That was a big hit for us," Scioscia said.
Bourjos and another backup, shortstop Maicer Izturis, set up the defining hit.
After a two-out single by Alberto Callaspo against Holland, Izturis chopped a double to right field and Bourjos walked.
Angels closer Scott Downs retired the side in order in the ninth for his ninth save.
The Royals charged to a 2-0 lead in the third inning with consecutive singles against starter C.J. Wilsonby Eric Hosmer, Brayan Pena and Alex Gordon, followed by a sacrifice fly by Lorenzo Cain.
Cain sent Wilson's pitch so deep it might have been a three-run home run, except that center fielder Bourjos sprinted back and leapt at the wall to make the catch.
The deficit was brief because Mike Trout led off the third with a single and Torii Hunter doubled against left-handed starting pitcher Bruce Chen.
On Albert Pujols' chopper to first, Trout scored a run for his American League rookie and Angels-record 15th consecutive game. He's three shy of the all-time AL record.
Howie Kendrick then struck a two-out double to right-center field to drive in Hunter.
After letting seven of the first 16 Royals batters reach base, Wilson settled down and got Jeff Francoeur to ground into a double play in the fourth inning.
Nine of 10 Royals then made out, with Wilson striking out four during the stretch that lasted until Hosmer singled with one out in the seventh inning.
Hosmer reached second base on a wild pitch, and scored on No. 9 hitter Pena's single, tying the score, 3-3.
The Angels began the game with an 11-1 record against left-handers since June 9, batting .343 with 25 home runs.
They drove Chen from the game in the sixth when Kendrick walked to lead off, moved to third on a groundout and stolen base, then scored for a 3-2 lead on Izturis' single to right field.