Royals make pair of moves, acquire Pena and Mortensen

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Royals signed free-agent first baseman Carlos Pena to a minor league contract and traded for minor league pitcher Clayton Mortensen from the Boston Red Sox organization on Monday night.  Both players were assigned to AAA Omaha.

The Royals got Mortensen in exchange for outfielder Quintin Berry. Mortensen pitched in 24 games for the Red Sox this year, posting a 5.34 ERA in 30.1 innings with a 1-2 record. He was demoted to AAA Pawtucket where he had pitched well, appearing in 14 games with a 3-0 record and 2.47 ERA. Berry has struggled since the Royals acquired him in June, hitting .193 in 311 at-bats as an Omaha Storm Chaser.

The Pena signing signals the team is trying to do anything to help resuscitate an offense that has been inconsistent. While they’ve scored 23 runs in the last three games they are only averaging 4.5 runs a game during the teams’ current 3-7 slide. Pena still poses a power threat; though the team cannot count on him for average.

In 85 games for the Houston Astros Pena hit eight home runs while batting a meager .209 before he was released on July 31. Between 2007 and 2012 Pena hit 191 home runs but only posted a .229 average during that same span. He may be called up at the beginning of September when MLB rosters expand to 40 players.

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