Baseball / Sports

Alex Gordon homers as Royals beat Giants, 5-0

At this rate, the Royals need to add some promotions to their schedule.

A Western Carolina night for Greg Holland. Cal State Fullerton day for Christian Colon. Or Southwest Mississippi Community College weekend for Jarrod Dyson.

The college promotions continued to pay off Saturday as the Royals stayed red hot with a 5-0 triumph over the Giants.

The game's opening tally came courtesy of an Alex Gordon home run that soared over the right center field wall in the fifth inning.

That's Gordon, the former Nebraska All-America, going deep on Nebraska night.

Just as relief pitcher Aaron Crow, the former Missouri Tiger, picked up a save on Missouri night last month.

Perhaps this is a former Big 12 thing, and the Royals should find a Texas A&M Aggie as a late addition, anything to keep this thing going.

In winning for the 14th time in 17 games, the Royals crept to 1 1/2 games behind the Detroit Tigers in the Central Division and maintained their hold on one of two American League wild-card berths.

The victory was their sixth straight and the Royals look for a second straight series sweep against a National League opponent Sunday.

With plenty of red ringing Kauffman Stadium and chants of "Go Big Red" punctuating the evening, Gordon gave Royals starter James Shields all the support he needed, although plenty more was provided.

Shields was masterful in hurling the ninth complete-game shutout of his career and first in his two seasons in Kansas City. He surrendered four hits, struck out five and walked one. He completed the gem by freezing Pablo Sandoval with a change up to end the game.

Shields' best moment came in the eighth, after surrendering a leadoff double to Joe Panik, Shields got some nice defense with Gordon tracking Travis Ishikawa's like drive and Mike Moustakas going to his left to snare Matt Duffy's grounder. Shields took care of Angel Pagan himself with a strikeout.

The effort bought Shields an ice water bucket shower, but Gordon could have bathed as well.

He'd been in a home run slump. He hit his ninth on June 21, and Saturday's blast was his second since then, and it got the Royals rolling.

The shot came on a 2-0 pitch against Tim Hudson, who to that point was spinning a gem of his own. But Hudson was gone in the seventh when the Royals padded the advantage with four runs, and Gordon was involved in this rally as well.

Billy Butler's leadoff double got things starter, and Gordon was looking for his second RBI when he grounded the ball up the middle. But third base coach Mike Jirschele wisely held the slow-footed Butler at third.

Lorenzo Cain quickly found himself down 0-2, but he battled back to a full count, fouled off a couple of pitches and bounced a single through the right side to score Butler.

Raul Ibanez grounded into a double play, but Mike Moustakas picked him up, ripping a double down the right field line off former Royals lefty Jeremy Affeldt. Gordon's run made it 3-0.

Alcides Escobar and Dyson added RBI singles and the Royals handed Shields a 5-0 lead in the eighth.

(c)2014 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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