The Royals will lead off tonight's game with Alex Gordon, as Ned Yost continues to jumble his lineup in National League parks. Gordon, who is hitting just .210/.310/.340 this year in 187 plate appearances, has a career on-base percentage of .347. As a leadoff hitter, he has hit .280/.354/.454 in his career. Gordon lead off eleven times last September when the team had a late-season swoon, and while the team scored 4.73 runs per game in games he lead off that month, the team went just 4-7 in those games.
The Royals demoted Alcides Escobar from the leadoff spot back on June 10, and have won 10 of 16 games, averaging 5.1 runs per game. Escobar led off last night's game against the Cardinals, a 3-2 victory in extra innings. Whit Merrifield has regularly led off the last few weeks since Escobar's move down the lineup, but Whit moves down to the #2 spot in the order tonight.
Ned says Gordon leading off because "just trying something. Whit can do some things hitting second. Alex can take a walk." #Royals— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) June 30, 2016
Kendrys Morales returns to play right field. He successfully handled four flyballs last night in his first outfield start since 2008.
The lineup: Gordon 7, Merrifield 4, Morales 9, Hosmer 3, Perez 2, Colon 5, Escobar 6, Dyson 8, Young 1 (vs. Leake)— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) June 30, 2016