BALTIMORE -- For the first time since Sept. 28, 2013, Alex Gordon is again the Royals' leadoff hitter. And it's a role Gordon will keep through the rest of the regular season and throughout the playoffs, with Kansas City holding a sizable lead in the American League Central.
Royals' Twitter feeds instantly lit up with delight upon learning the news, a move some fans have been calling for relentlessly since Gordon came off the disabled list earlier this month. Gordon reached base twice and scored twice in the Royals' 14-6 triumph over the Orioles on Saturday.
Manager Ned Yost explained that he has been waiting for signs that Gordon is completely healed from his strained groin that sidelined the All-Star left fielder close to eight weeks before making the move.
"You just do a lot more running from the leadoff spot," Yost said before the game. "I see now he's able to trust himself, so the move makes sense now."
"I feel like there are no limitations," he said. "That's how I feel, pretty much 100 percent. How does it look?"
Told he looks fine, Gordon grinned.
"Hitting leadoff, you basically just try to see more pitches," he said. "I can adjust to whatever role. When I hit sixth, it's more of a run-producing thing. I can do that, too."
Actually, Gordon is quite familiar with the leadoff spot -- he had started 296 games there entering Saturday's matchup with the Orioles, the most he has started at in any part of the batting order.
Gordon does it well, too. His career slash line from the top spot coming into Saturday's game was .284/.357/.462 for an OPS of .818.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.