March 6, 2014

Alex Gordon great at the plate as Royals, White Sox tie at 6 in spring training game

Royals outfielder Alex Gordon delivered his best performance of the spring as the Royals tied the White Sox 6-6 on Thursday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon delivered his best performance of the spring in 6-6 tie with the White Sox on Thursday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.

The Royals had a two-run lead heading into the ninth, but Kelvin Herrera coughed it up. He yielded a solo homer to Jordan Danks to open the frame. Micah Johnson followed that by singling, stealing second, taking third on a throwing error by catcher Francisco Pena and scoring on a groundout.

After the Royals came up empty in the bottom of the frame, the game was called.

Gordon ignited a second-inning rally, capped another in the third and tripled in the fifth. He roped a one-out single in the second. After another single by Salvador Perez and a walk by Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain plated Gordon with a sac fly.

With runners at the corner in the third, Gordon roped an RBI single into right field. Nori Aoki scored on the play. After he had his three-base knock in the fifth, he scored on Perez’s sacrifice fly.

"Before today I wasn’t feeling that great at the plate," Gordon said. "Today I felt a little bit better. That’s a good step."

The White Sox did not hit Royals starter Jason Vargas hard, but they kept busy on the base paths. Vargas allowed five hits during his three innings of work. But three were infield singles. No runs scored. Vargas notched a strike out and executed a nifty pickoff play on second baseman Micah Johnson in the third.

"Definitely better than giving up five runs and one hit," Vargas said. "The idea is to go out there and keep them from scoring, and do it as quickly as possible."

Brad Penny weathered another rocky outing. He allowed four runs in two innings. The White Sox tagged him for eight hits, including a two-run homer by rookie first baseman Jose Abreu.

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