Pregame chatter involved a hypothetical race between speedsters Terrance Gore, the newcomer, and the established Jarrod Dyson.
“There’s no answer to that,” Gore said. “We’ve never raced, probably never will race.”
But they were aligned in the decisive eighth inning of the Royals’ 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday. Gore, who last played for Class AAA Omaha, made his major-league debut. He pinch ran for Mike Moustakas, who opened the inning with a double.
Up stepped Dyson with instructions to bunt Gore to third. But Dyson missed the first one, took the second pitch for a strike and then hit a hard grounder to first baseman Adam Rosales. Gore took off and was gunned down at third.
“It was a good baseball play,” Gore said.
All’s well that ends well for the Royals. Dyson stole second and third and came home on Salvador Perez’s smash that third baseman Adrian Beltre couldn’t control.
Expect more appearances for Gore, who said he was clocked at 4.2 seconds as a high school football player in Gray, Ga. He gives the Royals pinch-running flexibility off the bench when Dyson and Lorenzo Cain are in the outfield, which is often the case in late innings.
“I had people tell me he could be the fastest player in baseball,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Gore, who has played center and left fields in a minor-league career that started in 2011, began the season in Class A Wilmington and hit .218 in 89 games and .250 in 17 games at Omaha. But the statistic most useful to the Royals is 47 stolen bases. Gore has been caught seven times this year.
He swiped 68 bases for Class A Lexington in 2013, his most productive season in pro baseball.
The 5-foot-7, 165-pound Gore was taken by the Royals in the 20th round of the 2011 draft out of Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla., and speed has always been his thing.
“Coaches have always told me just to run, steal bases,” Gore said. “Look where I am now.”
Colon injures finger
On his first day back from Class AA Northwest Arkansas, infielder Christian Colon will sit for a while.
Playing third base, Colon suffered a fracture the tip of his finger on his right hand while fielding a grounder in the second inning and will be re-evaulated in a week.
“Something like this normally is two, three or four weeks,” Yost said.
The Royals added infield depth last week when they claimed Jayson Nix off waivers, and they brought up Johnny Giavotella in the recent additions.
Willingham OK to hit
After sitting out all weekend because of sore muscles in the rib area, Josh Willingham completed a successful round of hitting before Tuesday’s game.
“It doesn’t hurt,” Willingham said. “So that’s a good thing. It feels like stretching, something like that, if that makes sense. But it doesn’t hurt like it did the other day.”
He was not in the lineup. Yost opted to play Billy Butler at designated hitter. Willingham indicated he has not received any indication from Yost on how playing time with be parceled out. The return of first baseman Eric Hosmer crowded the lineup.
Gordon, Davis honored
Alex Gordon and Wade Davis won the Royals’ monthly awards for August.
Gordon hit .292 with nine home runs and 21 RBIs. The home-run total was second in baseball. l and his two-run blast on Aug. 26 against the Twins was the second walk-off his career. It was Gordon’s second monthly award this season.
Davis held opponents scoreless over 14 innings and recorded 19 strikeouts and one walk. His 27 2/3 scoreless-inning streak is the longest in team history by a reliever. Davis also was the Royals’ pitcher of the month in May and July.