Ned Yost saw that Alex Gordon was dragging a little bit early in the week. So the Kansas City manager gave the outfielder a day off Wednesday. With the team not playing Thursday, Gordon had two full days to rest.
The move paid off in a big way as he homered twice to drive in three runs, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Friday night.
Gordon hit a two-run home run over the bullpen in right field in the bottom of the first inning and added a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth.
Gordon’s second home run was the 1,500th hit of his career and gave him the fifth multihomer game of his career and first since August 20, 2016.
Homer Bailey (4-3) gave up one run and four hits in five-plus innings, and Scott Barlow struck out a career-high six in two innings of relief for the Royals. Jorge Soler added his team-leading 10th home run of the season.
Bailey left after giving up back-to-back singles to lead off the sixth. Barlow came in and pitched around a one-out walk to strike out the side and leave the bases loaded, then struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh inning.
After giving up 10 runs in 10 innings over his first two starts, Bailey has allowed just 12 runs in his last six outings with a 3.48 ERA over 31 innings.
Jake Diekman worked his eighth consecutive scoreless outing, striking out two batters in the eighth inning and Ian Kennedy pitched a perfect ninth. The Royals’ bullpen threw four hitless innings and struck out eight.
Phillies starter Jake Arrieta (4-3) also went five-plus innings, giving up four runs and seven hits. He allowed three home runs in a start for the first time since May 29, 2015, against the Royals. Gordon also went deep in that game.
Bryce Harper walked three times and scored Philadelphia’s only run of the game, coming home on Odubel Herrera’s RBI grounder in the fourth.