Alex Gordon has been here before.
With Friday night’s game on the line, the Royals trailing 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, Gordon stepped to the plate against left-handed reliever Aaron Loup.
Brandon Moss and Alcides Escobar had just put together two fantastic at-bats to keep the Royals’ hopes alive. Moss stood on third, Escobar on first.
“Loup is a tough lefty, so if you get your pitch to hit, don’t miss it,” Gordon said. “I know (Loup) likes to come with a first-pitch fastball, so I was just looking for that pitch and not trying to do too much with it.”
Yes, Gordon has been here before.
And on the first pitch he saw, Gordon, a three-time All-Star, laced an RBI single to center field to bring the Royals within one run of the Blue Jays.
Gordon, who is in the midst of his worst season at the plate as a big leaguer, eventually scored the winning run from first base on Whit Merrifield’s walk-off double.
“We’ve done this many times as a team, so it’s not like this is an unusual situation for us,” Gordon said. “We have confidence until the game is over that we are going to do everything we can to come back and battle our tails off.
“That’s what we did tonight.”
Gordon, who is regularly batting ninth in the lineup for the first time in his career, has just three home runs and 13 RBIs, while posting a .189 batting average.
But Gordon is not worried about where he bats in the order, as long as the team wins games.
“I don’t care (about the batting order), I just want to win games,” Gordon said. “That’s what everyone should be focused on, just trying to do anything that you can to help the team win.”
With the victory, the Royals are .500 (36-36) for the first time since being 7-7 in April. And Gordon, despite his lackluster average, has played a role in the Royals’ resurgence.
Including Friday’ night’s game-winning run, Gordon has now scored 12 runs in his last 15 games and has seven extra-base hits in his last 16 games.