09/17/08 12:00 AM ET
Ka'aihue having great time in bigs
Rookie makes second Major League start on Tuesday
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
"I just love being here. It's baseball in September, you know," Ka'aihue said.
As he spoke before Tuesday's contest, the Royals' clubhouse was dimly lit and pulsating with rock music. It was kind of a nightclub scene as the Royals, riding a four-game winning streak, tried to keep the party going.
Ka'aihue was in the lineup in a 6-3 victory -- the club's fifth straight -- over the Mariners on Tuesday night as the designated hitter, making his second start since being called up this month from Triple-A Omaha. He made his first start on Sept. 5 at first base against the Indians.
Against the Mariners, Ka'aihue went to the plate four times, ending up with a walk and a single.
"KK had some great at-bats and the base hit to left was a good piece of hitting," manager Trey Hillman said.
In his six games so far, Ka'aihue is 4-for-10, all singles.
He did some DHing this summer for Omaha and Double-A Northwest Arkansas, as he accumulated his harvest of 37 home runs.
"I've done it before, it's all right," he said. "I just want my at-bats. I'd play left field if I could get my at-bats. [DH] is not that hard to do. All you have to do is swing."
This is the first time, except for some instructional league games, that Ka'aihue's season has extended this far into September.
And, no, he's not tired. Not with his first shot at the Major Leagues rather unexpectedly presented to him.
"It's hard to get worn out up here," he said. "You get worn out a lot more in the Minor Leagues."
His brother, Kala, was in Kansas City to watch Tuesday night's game. He's a first baseman in the Braves' organization.
"He just came up here from Mississippi. They just won the Double-A championship in the Southern League," Ka'aihue said.
Kala's season was over, though. This year, for a change, Kila's season had 11 more games to go.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.