Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Gordon belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Kansas City Royals a dramatic 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
The Royals had managed just three singles through the first eight innings and Alcides Escobar made it four with a leadoff bloop into center field in the ninth against Glen Perkins (3-1) before Gordon drilled an 0-1 pitch over the wall in right-center field to send the small crowd of 13,847 at Kauffman Stadium crowd into a frenzy.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost said he was talking to his coaches about strategy for the ninth inning when the bat boy chimed in.
"The bat boy, who never says anything, turns around and says, 'Esky is going to get a hit and Gordo's taking him in the fountains,'" said Yost. "I said, 'OK. Sounds like a pretty good plan' and darned if it didn't work."
Kansas City bounced back from an 8-1 drubbing at the hands of the Yankees on Monday and remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central. The Tigers notched a 5-2 win over New York on Tuesday and were about to close the gap before Gordon's blast.
Minnesota, coming off a four-game series split against Detroit over the weekend, has lost three in a row. Joe Mauer singled home the only run for the Twins.
"I don't think anybody saw that coming," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "A bloop and a blast and a big walk-off for them."
The starting pitchers were brilliant.
Ricky Nolasco was in line for the win after limiting the Royals to three hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out six, but twice hit Billy Butler with a pitch.
Kansas City's Danny Duffy allowed just one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Wade Davis (7-2) picked up the win with a hitless ninth.
The Royals had a chance to open the scoring in the second inning when Butler was hit by a pitch and Salvador Perez singled, but Josh Willingham grounded into a double play and Mike Moustakas lined out to left.
Minnesota broke through in the seventh when Brian Dozier led off with a double and raced home on Mauer's single to left-center.
Kansas City was in danger of losing three in a row for the first time since a four-game slide from July 18-21 ... Gordon had two of Kansas City's five hits ... The Twins also had just five hits ... Royals second baseman Omar Infante sat out with shoulder inflammation ... Kansas City's Yordano Ventura will miss Wednesday's scheduled start because of a sore back. Liam Hendriks will be recalled from Triple-A Omaha to make the start ... The Royals improved to 10-7 against Minnesota this season.