KANSAS CITY -- There have been many great catches spanning the career of Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner.Add another one to the Top 10.Justin Upton of the Tigers sent a deep drive that looked like a sure double into the left-center-field gap leading off
KANSAS CITY -- There have been many great catches spanning the career of Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner.
Add another one to the Top 10.
Justin Upton of the Tigers sent a deep drive that looked like a sure double into the left-center-field gap leading off the fourth inning in the Royals' 4-0 victory Thursday. But Gordon, running in a full sprint, chased it down, reached to full extension and snared the ball as he belly-planted on the warning track.
Royals players on the field and in the dugout raised their hats in salute. And most of the crowd delivered a standing ovation.
"It's always nice that the fans appreciate how much pride we take in our defense," Gordon said.
According to Statcast™, Gordon reached a max speed of 18.6 mph while covering a distance of 122.6 feet, and he had a route efficiency of 97.5 percent.
Not many at Kauffman Stadium thought Gordon had a shot at catching Upton's ball.
"I thought, 'No way!'" starter Edinson Volquez said. "I looked for [Lorenzo Cain] and he wasn't there. Then I saw Gordo come out of nowhere. Man."
Gordon said he got a decent jump.
"We were playing Upton the opposite way," Gordon said, "so I knew Lo was not going to get there. But I also knew the wind was blowing pretty good and it might hold it up a little longer, and it did. Then I just went after it."
Gordon appeared to land hard on his front side.
"Nah, it was a clean slide," Gordon said. "Typical Gordo -- lay there and make it look worse than it was."
And it wasn't the only big defensive play Gordon made -- he also threw out Jose Iglesias, who was trying to advance from first to third on Ian Kinsler's single, to end the third inning. Gordon threw him out by several feet.
"Pretty easy assist," Gordon said. "I think he was just trying to be aggressive. He probably wished he hadn't gone."
The Royals also got a great play from first baseman Eric Hosmer, who made a headfirst diving catch on a foul ball hit by Iglesias.
"You just go all out and hope it hits your glove," Hosmer said.
Hosmer then headed for the dugout, though there were only two outs. He somewhat sheepishly turned and headed back to first base.
Who reminded him there were only two outs?
"I think 30,000 people did," Hosmer said, smiling.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.