The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

May 3, 2009

Poor showing frustrates Pirates' Moss

PITTSBURGH — By JOHN PERROTTO

jperrotto@piratesreport.com

PITTSBURGH – April has turned to May and perhaps no Pirates player is happier than Brandon Moss.

“It was a rough first month,” the right fielder said.

Moss hit .203 with no home runs and one RBI in 18 games in April, a far cry from what the Pirates were expecting from a player counted on to be a run producer. While Moss hit just .222 in 45 games for the Pirates last season after being acquired from Boston in a July 31 trade, he did have six homers and 23 RBIs.

“I’ve always prided myself in being a run producer, a guy who gets hits with runners on base,” Moss said Saturday night before the Pirates hosted the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. “The batting average is one thing because it can fluctuate so much early in the season when you only have about 60 at-bats, but the lack of production bothers me. I’m in the lineup to drive in runs.”

Moss was hitless in 11 at bats with runners in scoring position in April and had one hit in 19 at-bats with runners on base for a .053 average.

“The disappointing part is that I’m making contact but it’s not hard contact, especially with men on base,” Moss said. “I’m just hitting dribblers. I’ve got to start driving the ball.”

Perhaps Moss needs some luck. His batting average on balls in play is .245 while the major-league average is .297.

Moss insists he is healthy after having knee surgery at the end of last season and then missing a significant portion of spring training with a badly bruised thumb.

“I feel great,” Moss said. “I just need to keep at it. That’s all I can do. I know I’m a better hitter than this and a better hitter than I was last year. I just have to stay positive and wait for it to come around.”

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