ARLINGTON, Texas – Alex Gordon put the Kansas City Royals back ahead in a flash, and Greg Holland made good on his second chance.
Gordon homered on the first pitch of the 10th inning and the Royals beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 Tuesday night.
“I just said if I get a good pitch to hit, a fastball down the middle or something, I’m just going to get a good swing on it,” Gordon said.
And he did, greeting reliever Stolmy Pimentel by pulling a fastball into the seats down the right-field line.
Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas also homered for the AL Central leaders, who went ahead on an RBI groundout by Lorenzo Cain in the ninth. Adrian Beltre’s two-out RBI single in the bottom half off Holland tied the score for the fourth time.
“The home runs by [Moustakas] and Gordon were big, but just the ability to come in and trade punches with them was good,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Now that it’s finally shown itself, the power that we have, it’s huge.”
After blowing his first save in seven chances this year, Holland (1-0) returned to throw a perfect 10th. It was the righthander’s first outing this season that lasted more than one inning.
Gordon also made a nifty defensive play in the seventh. The Gold Glove left fielder picked up Elvis Andrus’ grounder through the infield and threw an off-balance strike to third to get Shin-Soo Choo, who was trying to advance from first base.
“I knew the hit-and-run was going so I just charged the ball as hard as I could,” Gordon said.
That was before Texas’ Kyle Blanks had an RBI single in the seventh that scored Andrus and made it 5-5. The designated hitter was trying to check his swing when he instead blooped a hit to short right.