Morales' struggles nothing new

Morales' struggles nothing new

Kendry Morales has played at three levels in the Angels farm system since signing as a free agent before the 2005 season, and at each stop he has struggled early before really turning it on. So it's not necessarily a surprise that, in his first taste of the big leagues, his numbers after a few weeks are not eye-popping.

Kendry Morales, who opened his major-league career with a three-hit day, is now going through what seems to be his usual early-season doldrums. After hitting .409 (9-for-22) with two homers and six RBIs in his first five games, the Cuban defector was hitless in his next 15 at-bats.

When Morales was called up May 22, Manager Mike Scioscia said "he has a history of getting in a league and making adjustments." Morales ended up hitting .300 at Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A despite slow starts.

"He's putting some good swings on balls, he's just not getting hits," hitting instructor Mickey Hatcher said. "These young guys, it's how they make adjustments because of advance scouts telling pitchers to pitch a certain way."

Pitchers have begun throwing more breaking balls outside and jamming him with fastballs.

"It's always a game of adjustments," Scioscia said. "Kendry is starting to make some adjustments. The reports in the big leagues become more specific as the league sees if he can handle stuff. It's a lot to absorb."

In his first taste of Triple-A Salt Lake this year, the Cuban first baseman hit just .235 with three home runs, then exploded with 31 hits in 76 at-bats for the Bees in May (.408) before getting his promotion.

REPLAY: Jered Weaver pitched 6 1/3 magnificent innings, leading the Angels past Cleveland, 10-3. Backed by home runs from Vladimir Guerrero, Dallas McPherson and Garrett Anderson, Weaver didn't allow a run in his first six innings, pushing his scoreless innings streak to 40 1/3, when he allowed a run May 6 against Tacoma in Triple-A. Thirteen of those innings came in his first two major-league starts.

For Anderson, it was his first home run in 123 at-bats, dating back to April 22 at Oakland. He has driven in 10 runs since May 22.

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