Royals left fielder also may have concussion, will be re-evaluated Thursday
KANSAS CITY -- Royals left fielder Alex Gordon gave the Kauffman Stadium crowd quite a scare on Wednesday night when he sustained a possible concussion and right hip contusion after crashing into the wall while attempting to catch a deep fly ball hit by the Indians' Jason Kipnis in the sixth inning.
"It was carrying on me and I kind of got lost and I looked back at the fence and then just kind of got off balance and that's when I just fell and hit the wall," Gordon said. "I just remember laying there."
Gordon will be re-evaluated by team doctors on Thursday morning, but said he was feeling fine. The Royals won, 6-5, to set up Thursday's rubber game.
"I've just got a bruise and my butt hurts a little bit, and that's about it," Gordon said.
Gordon missed the catch, hit his head on the fence and then fell onto his hip when he hit the ground. Players rushed out of the adjacent Royals' bullpen to aid the fallen Gordon who lay on the warning track for several minutes before, with help, rising unsteadily to his feet. He was led off the field by head athletic trainer Nick Kenney and assistant athletic trainer Kyle Turner.
"We were down there in the bullpen and we didn't think the ball was going to get to the fence either, but he got there and as soon as he touched the warning track he kind of glanced at the fence and then he lost the ball," closer Greg Holland said. "I think he knew he was close to the fence so he tried to jump to the side and try to catch it out to the side to brace himself but after he fell we all expected him to pop up and get the ball and throw him out because he is so tough."
Bruce Chen was one of the first players out of the bullpen to react to the play when he ran over and started trying to talk to Gordon. Holland said Gordon assured the bullpen he was OK before the medical staff arrived.
"Your heart kind of sinks when you see a guy like that, the heart of your team, down there and he can't get up," Holland said. "He was talking, he was hurting, but he walked off the field so that is great news."
Gordon, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, said he never lost consciousness and watched the rest of the game.
"I know there were a lot of nervous people in the stands, in the locker room and in the dugout because that's the heart and soul of our team," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "We can't play without him."
The ball rolled away from Gordon and Kipnis flew around the bases for a three-run, inside-the-park home run. He didn't realize until he crossed home plate that there was something wrong. As soon as he saw that Gordon was still down he apologized to catcher Salvador Perez for his brief celebration.
"When I was running to second, I saw him still kind of fidgeting around and moving. And then after I hit second, I put my head down and ran. I didn't know that he hadn't moved or gotten up since then, so when I touched home I was like, OK, inside-the-park home run, three runs, we took the lead, it's exciting," Kipnis said. "I turned around and saw he was still down and was like, 'Oh, hey, we're not celebrating that.' It was an apology. [Perez] was like, 'No, I know you didn't.' He knew I didn't mean it. I even said it to the first-base coach."
Perez appreciated the gesture and accepted the apology.
"He was worried about him and that's good," Perez said.
Gordon said he was proud of the team for overcoming the sixth inning three-run setback and hanging on for the 6-5 victory.
"It was a huge comeback after an inside-the-park home run," Gordon said. "It was good to see the guys battle back."
Gordon was 2-for-3 with a single, double and a run scored before exiting in the sixth inning. He now has 29 multi-hit games this season.
"He is the first one here and usually the last one to leave," Holland said. "He really respects the game and doesn't take a single play off. You saw that tonight."
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com.