Gordon regains confidence with hot run at plate

Royals outfielder notches three hits, including homer, in win over Tigers

May 3rd, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- Something has gotten into Royals outfielder lately. Always known for his Gold Glove Award-winning defense, Gordon is suddenly hitting like it's 2015, and he's providing a big boost to the bottom of the Royals' lineup.

After two disappointing offensive seasons, Gordon has been on a tear since coming off the disabled list on April 24. Since then, Gordon is slashing .372/.426/.558 with two home runs and two doubles.

Gordon notched three more hits in the Royals' 10-6 win over the Tigers on Thursday. His solo home run traveled a Statcast-projected 422 feet over the right-field fence on a changeup from Tigers right-hander Mike Fiers.

After helping the Royals to a World Series championship in 2015 with an .809 OPS, Gordon slumped to a .692 OPS in '16 and a .608 OPS last year.

Asked if his confidence offensively is near where it was in 2015, Gordon said, "It's been awhile. Obviously, performance is a result of confidence. And when performance is down, your confidence is down. And that's one thing I've tried to work on this year, to keep believing in yourself the whole year even if things don't go well. I kind of started slow and then went on the DL, and when I came back, I'm staying positive."

Gordon's first home run of the season came in the ninth inning on Tuesday against Red Sox closer , a clutch shot that tied a game the Royals won in extra innings.

"He feels really good right now, and I feel really good for him," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He works so hard. He grinds it out so hard. You'll never know it, but [his offensive slump from past two years] wears on him too. We need his offense. We have to have it."

Gordon's .303 season average following Thursday's win is his highest mark since April 30, 2015. He is vowing to mentally flush the last two seasons.

"I don't really care," Gordon said. "Right now, I just really feel good. I don't care what happened last year or the year before. I'm trying to play hard for the team right now. You can't dwell on negative things from the past."