Royals

Alex Gordon’s personal-record HRs power Royals over Phillies

Coming into Friday night’s game, Alex Gordon had never hit a home run tracked at 110 mph by Statcast.

Now, he has two.

Gordon provided the majority of the Royals’ offense on Friday, blasting a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the fifth during KC’s 5-1 victory over the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies.

Neither dinger was in doubt.

Gordon’s first-inning swing created an 111-mph missile, the ball sailing an estimated 429 feet to the stands above the Royals’ bullpen in right.

“I don’t like really pay attention to Statcast too much, but when I hit it, I knew I hit it pretty good,” Gordon said. “It was one of those balls where you hit it and kind of admire it. It was a good one.”

Gordon’s previous-best homer velocity in the Statcast era — ranging back five years — was a 109.3 mph connection against Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer in April of 2015.

The Royals left fielder wasn’t done, though.

In the fifth, Gordon picked on a Jake Arrieta elevated sinker, turning it around at 110 mph for his 1,500th career hit; the 20,015 fans at Kauffman Stadium gave Gordon an extended ovation when that fact was displayed on Royals’ Crown Vision videoboard.

“It took me awhile, but I got there. Halfway to George (Brett),” Gordon said with a laugh about his milestone. “I don’t know how he did that. It’s cool. I’m lucky to play this game as long as I have, and very humbled by 1,500 hits. I’m just happy I’m still able to do it.”

The impressive night continued Gordon’s resurgent season. His 2-for-4 effort raised his average to .291 — he’s hit .220, .208 and .245 the last three seasons — and his eight home runs are now only five short of what he hit during the entire 2018 campaign.

He also was helped by a bit of rest, as Royals manager Ned Yost decided to take Gordon out of the lineup Wednesday against Houston so Gordon could get two consecutive off days.

Gordon said he “definitely felt” a difference in his body.

“Ned’s a smart man, so he knows what he’s doing,” Gordon said. “Every time he comes up to me — and I never like a day off — but if he comes up to me and tells me, I always tell him, ‘Hey, you’re the boss. You know what you’re doing, so whatever you think is best, let’s do it.’”

Jorge Soler added his own show of power — a 438-foot smash into the fountains in center — to help chase Arrieta in the sixth.

The Royals also received an impressive showing from their bullpen. That started with Scott Barlow, who inherited two runners from starter Homer Bailey in the sixth but allowed neither to score, screaming out in satisfaction with a double-fist pump after he struck out Cesar Hernandez to leave the bases loaded.

“When you’re in a situation like that it’s hard not to be jacked up,” Barlow said, “especially after Bailey, just following his intensity and everything ... trying to feed off that.”

Barlow was even better in the seventh. He got Maikel Franco, Nick Williams and Andrew McCutchen on called strike threes, finishing his night with two innings pitched, one walk and a career-high six strikeouts.

“He was absolutely fantastic,” Yost said of Barlow.

Jake Diekman and Ian Kennedy followed with scoreless innings to close out the win.

Bailey was solid, allowing a single run in five innings with three walks and four strikeouts. He’s now gone at least five innings in seven of his eight starts this season.

“You can’t say enough good words about what the bullpen did tonight,” Bailey said. “Those last four innings, there in the sixth when Scotty came in ... just absolutely outstanding. You could probably say that about the entire game really, right? The offense was there. Our defense was flawless.”

The Royals, who improved to 14-25, continue their three-game series with the Phillies on Saturday.

“Just a really, really good team win,” Bailey said, “something you try to build off of and kind of show yourself what kind of team that we have.”



Royals 5, Phillies 1

Philadelphia

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

McCutchen lf

4

0

0

0

0

2

.235

Segura ss

4

0

1

0

0

1

.304

Harper dh

1

1

1

0

3

0

.237

Hoskins 1b

4

0

0

0

0

3

.286

Realmuto c

3

0

1

0

1

1

.274

Herrera cf

3

0

0

1

1

1

.241

Hernandez 2b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.296

Franco 3b

4

0

1

0

0

1

.241

Williams rf

3

0

0

0

0

1

.180



Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Merrifield 2b

4

0

1

0

0

0

.294

Mondesi ss

3

1

1

0

1

0

.277

Gordon lf

4

2

2

3

0

0

.291

Dozier 3b

4

1

0

0

0

1

.320

Soler rf

2

1

1

1

2

0

.259

O’Hearn 1b

2

0

0

0

2

1

.191

Gutierrez dh

3

0

1

1

0

2

.302

Maldonado c

4

0

1

0

0

1

.186

Hamilton cf

3

0

1

0

0

2

.213



Philadelphia

000

100

000

1

4

1

Kansas City

200

011

01x

5

8

0

E—Segura (4). LOB—Philadelphia 7, Kansas City 6. 2B—Realmuto (7), Franco (7). HR—Gordon (7), off Arrieta; Gordon (8), off Arrieta; Soler (10), off Arrieta. RBIs—Herrera (11), Gordon 3 (30), Soler (25), Gutierrez (11). SB—Mondesi 2 (12). CS—Merrifield (3), Mondesi (2), O’Hearn (1). SF—Gutierrez.

Runners left in scoring position—Philadelphia 4 (Segura, Hernandez 3); Kansas City 3 (Dozier, Maldonado, Hamilton). RISP—Philadelphia 0 for 8; Kansas City 1 for 4.

Runners moved up—Williams, Herrera. LIDP—Hernandez.

DP—Kansas City 1 (Dozier, O’Hearn).

Philadelphia

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Arrieta, L, 4-3

5

7

4

4

3

5

99

3.78

Garcia

1

0

0

0

0

1

9

3.00

Ramos

2/3

1

0

0

0

0

12

4.66

Alvarez

2/3

0

0

0

0

0

4

5.54

Neris

2/3

0

1

0

2

1

21

2.35

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Bailey, W, 4-3

5

4

1

1

3

4

86

4.83

Barlow, H, 2

2

0

0

0

1

6

30

1.96

Diekman, H, 4

1

0

0

0

1

2

17

2.81

Kennedy

1

0

0

0

0

0

10

2.45

Bailey pitched to 2 batters in the 6th.

Arrieta pitched to 2 batters in the 6th.

Inherited runners-scored—Garcia 1-0, Alvarez 1-0, Barlow 2-0.

Umpires—Home, Dan Bellino; First, Phil Cuzzi; Second, Gabe Morales; Third, Marty Foster.

T—3:07. A—20,015 (37,903).

Related stories from Kansas City Star

Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.
  Comments