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Alex Gordon hits two homers, Royals win 8-6

We missed you, Alex.

Jamie Squire

Royals outfielder Alex Gordon blasted two three-run homers Sunday, helping the Royals defeat the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 and split the four-game series.

Gordon entered the game batting .25/.305/.350, good for a 81 wRC+. Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas' struggles had shielded Gordon from some criticism, but the leftfielder has not hit well to start the season. Gordon looked like the 2011 version of himself on Sunday, finishing the day with four hits.

Ubaldo Jimenez surrendered Gordon's first home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Orioles had a 3-2 lead, and Alex was up with runners on the corners and two outs. Jimenez threw a fastball over the inside part of the plate and Gordon turned on the pitch, lining it over the bullpen in right field:

Gordon's second longball came in the bottom of the seventh. The Royals had two runners in scoring position against Troy Patton, who hung a 1-0 breaking ball over the middle of the plate that Gordon did not miss. The ball landed in the fountains in right-center field, prompting the crowd to give Gordon a curtain call.

Butler also had a quality day at the plate. The DH smacked a RBI-single in the top of the first inning, hit another single against Jimenez in the fifth and doubled against Patton in the eighth. Norichika Aoki also reached base three times, while Lorenzo Cain added a RBI-single.

James Shields didn't have his best stuff, but still turned in a solid start. The right-hander scattered nine hits across seven innings, allowing three runs to cross the plate. Baltimore did their damage against Shields in the third inning, hitting four consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly to start the frame. The veteran recovered, stranding two runners in the inning and eight overall.

Kelvin Herrera relieved Shields, tossing a scoreless eighth inning. Aaron Crow made things a little interesting in the top of the ninth, giving up a walk, single and three-run homer to Adam Jones while only recording one out. Ned Yost yanked Crow after the homer, bringing in Greg Holland for the final two outs of the game.

Kansas City is now 22-21 on the season. The Royals will start a three-game series against the White Sox on Monday night, with Jason Vargas facing off against Scott Carroll in the series opener.