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Gordon busts out in Royals' victory

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - George Brett joked that Alex Gordon would be glad that Brett resigned Thursday as the Kansas City Royals hitting coach.

Gordon was hitting .324 when Brett was named the interim hitting coach on May 30, but only .188 in Brett's 48 games tutoring the hitters.

Gordon and David Lough each drove in two runs, and Jeremy Guthrie picked up his 10th victory of the season as the Royals beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 Thursday night.

Gordon hit a triple in the fifth to score Jarrod Dyson, and his sacrifice fly in the second scored Chris Getz.

"That's George being funny," Gordon said when told of Brett's comments. "That's just his personality. It was a privilege working with him and he'll still be around."

The Royals went 5-2 on this homestand against the Orioles and Detroit to keep themselves around in the AL Central, although they are seven games behind the Tigers with 63 games remaining.

Billy Butler homered in the seventh inning for the final Kansas City run. It came off Francisco Rodriguez, who was making his Baltimore debut after being acquired in a Tuesday trade.

"It felt good, but too few and far in between," Butler said. "It's clicking right now as a team, but it took longer than we thought."

Lough singled home runs in the first and fifth innings, both with two outs.

Guthrie (10-7) pitched for the Orioles from 2007 to 2011 and was their Opening Day starter three times. He worked six innings Thursday, allowing one run on six hits while striking out five and walking one.

"Facing his former team, I knew he was going to be amped up," Butler said.

Guthrie is among the American League leaders with 10 wins. He has never won more than 11 games in a season.

"Sweet," Lough said. "I hope he gets 20."

Chris Davis, who leads the majors with 37 home runs, struck out four times, including three against Guthrie.

"The last time we saw him he threw more off-speed stuff," Davis said. "He was using his fastball more tonight. He threw a lot of strikes and hit his spots."

The Royals scored two runs with two outs in the first inning on three consecutive hits. Butler doubled down the right-field line and scored on Salvador Perez's single to center. Perez went to second on the throw home and scored on Lough's single to right.

Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez, who entered the game with a 6-1 record since returning from the disabled list May 21, yielded another run in the second. Getz stroked an opposite-field double, advanced to third on Dyson's bunt single and scored on Gordon's sacrifice fly to center.

The Orioles got a run in the fifth, when Henry Urrutia tripled to right past a diving Lough and scored on Brian Roberts' two-out double to left-center.

A wrong call by third base umpire Bill Miller prevented the Orioles from scoring another run and extending the inning. Nate McLouth drilled an apparent single to left, but Miller ruled Gordon, a two-time Gold Glove outfielder, made a diving catch. Orioles manager Buck Showalter protested, but after the umpires huddled they did not overrule the call. Replays showed the ball clearly hit the turf before Gordon trapped it.

"If it's a base hit, it scores a run and who knows how that inning turns out," said Nick Markakis, who was on deck.

The Royals padded their lead with a three-run fifth and chased Gonzalez.

"He had some tough breaks," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of his pitcher. "Right away there's a ball off the end of the bat squibbed for a double and then a chopper up the middle that gets through. He had some tough breaks, but you have to turn the page. He just didn't seem to get into his normal rhythm."

Gonzalez (8-4) yielded six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. He had thrown eight consecutive quality starts (at least six innings, no more than three runs).

"It was just one of those nights, a tough night," Gonzalez said. "I feel bad that I wasn't able to go as long as I wanted. I felt pretty good out there but I left a couple of baseballs up and guys took advantage. I'll shake it off and come back."

NOTES: Pedro Grifol, who was assisting Brett, was promoted to the head hitting coach. ... Orioles 3B Manny Machado, who leads the majors with 39 doubles, had only one double in his previous 19 games. ... Baltimore RHP Steve Johnson, who went on the disabled list June 6 with a strained left oblique, made a rehab start Wednesday for short-season Class A Aberdeen. He allowed two runs on three hits, including a home run, walked one and struck out four in 2 1/3 innings. ... Royals RHP Felipe Paulino, who had Tommy John surgery in July 2012, threw a two-inning simulated game, 15 pitches in each inning.
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