Angels slugger Kendrys Morales. (Los Angeles Times )
Tempe, Ariz. — Kendrys Morales defused a potentially awkward situation Friday night when he took the blame for a dash from third base that resulted in the slugger having to stop on his twice surgically repaired ankle and retreat back to the bag.
Morales, who hit his first home run in almost two years in the second inning of a 4-1 exhibition victory over the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark, singled in the fourth and advanced to third with one out.
Bobby Wilson hit a fly ball to medium center field, a ball the slow-footed Morales, who is in the final stages of a long recovery from a broken left ankle he suffered on May 29, 2010, appeared to have no chance of scoring on.
But Morales tagged up as if he was going and sprinted about 30 feet down the line before third-base coach Dino Ebel put up a late stop sign. Morales came to a halt and tried to get back to third but was tagged out to end the inning.
"I heard [Ebel] say to stay, but when I saw the center fielder playing back, I thought I could try to score and then he stopped me a little late," Morales said through a translator. "But he told me to stay. It was just a miscommunication. It wasn't his fault."
Morales, who has four hits in six at-bats in his first two exhibition games, said the sudden stop did not cause any pain or discomfort in his ankle.
"It might have looked kind of strange that I stopped like that from the outside," Morales said. "But it didn't bother me at all. I don't feel anything [while running]. I just have to get a little more confidence."
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