"These are the types of moments that win divisions."
The Kansas City broadcast could not hold back its excitement on Tuesday evening when Alex Gordon preserved the Royals' lead in the National League Central with a two-run walk-off home run that gave KC a 2-1 win when it really needed it.
The Royals have been about as hot as any team in the last six weeks. Kansas City finally lost a series on Monday, if you can call it that. The Royals dropped a single game to the Yankees on Monday night, which was a stand-alone rain make-up from earlier in the year. That was the first time in ten series' that the opponent won more games than Kansas City. The Royals had won eight of their last nine series', with one split against the Rockies. The run of series wins staked Kansas City to a lead in the NL Central - a lead that came dangerously close to all but evaporating on Tuesday.
With the Tigers holding a safe lead against the New York Yankees, the Royals were a single loss away from evening up with Detroit in the loss column. And down by one against All-Star closer Glen Perkins, Kansas City didn't find itself in a favorable spot. But if you're down by just two in baseball that means you only need "a bloop and a blast." And that's exactly what KC got.
How it happened
Alcides Escobar led off the inning hacking at the first pitch. The speedy shortstop didn't hit the ball hard, but he did just about everything else right - if there's much else to do. Escobar's little bloop landed in front of Danny Santana in center field to set the stage for Alex Gordon. The Royals' best player stepped to the plate, representing the winning run, and win it is what he did.
Gordon lifted the second pitch he saw deep and far over the right field fence at Kauffman Stadium. The breaking ball on the outside corner stayed just up enough in the hitting zone and Gordon was able to get just enough to win it for Kansas City. The left fielder got under the ball to create enough backspin to carry it out of the yard.
The home run was Gordon's 16th of the season. The trendy name in the MVP discussion also added to his RBI total with his 58th and 59th runs batted in on the season. The man that is right there with Mike Trout in many computed Wins Above Replacements has thrown his name in the ring of MVP possibilities.
Gordon may not have the national following as someone like Trout or Giancarlo Stanton, but he will certainly warrant some consideration when it comes time to vote on an MVP. But for this night, he certainly proved valuable to the Royals.
You could even say a whole wins' worth.