Gordon homers, doubles in return vs. Astros

Royals left fielder comes off DL; Eibner optioned to Triple-A

Gordon homers, doubles in return vs. Astros

KANSAS CITY -- On his first night back from a rehab assignment, Alex Gordon showed he may be ready to turn his offensive season around. Gordon homered and doubled in the Royals' 13-5 loss to the Astros on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Gordon had been hitting just .211 prior to sustaining a broken bone near his right wrist last month. At the time, manager Ned Yost pulled Gordon aside and joked, "Look at the bright side: At least I can put someone in left field now who can get a hit."

Gordon said he has the type of relationship with Yost that he can handle such good-natured jabs.

"I got a chuckle out of it," Gordon said on Saturday. Gordon was activated prior to the game with the Astros, and outfielder Brett Eibner was optioned back to Triple-A Omaha.

Gordon hit .364 on his rehab, splitting time between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha.

"I felt comfortable again and my timing was really good," Gordon said.

Gordon gets a standing ovation

Yost, of course, hopes he gets back the Gordon of old, not the slumping one from the season's first two months. While Gordon did get two hits on Saturday, he also stranded six runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth.

"I felt pretty good tonight," Gordon said. "I wish I could have gotten a few hits when I had guys on. We were down quite a bit."

Yost inserted Gordon into the No. 2 spot in the order and dropped Alcides Escobar to No. 8. The numbers predicated the move.

"You look at Gordo's career numbers there [.342 average, .952 OPS] and that's where he hits best," Yost said. "And Esky hits really well out of the 8-hole [.280 average, .687 OPS]. We'll try it and see."

Gordon said his wrist area healed well, and the time off may actually have helped a little with his swing.

"I think I was getting a little too mechanical," Gordon said, "when I should be more athletic in the box."

Yost and his staff considered making another move to bring up a pitcher, especially after Edinson Volquez's short outing Friday (one-plus innings) burned up Yost's two long men -- Dillon Gee and Brian Flynn.

"But you really hate to penalize a guy like Flynn who did such a great job [five innings, one run]," Yost said. "We'll manage for now."

Eibner hit .297 in 11 games with one homer and seven RBIs.

"He'll be back here," Yost said. "But with Whit [Merrifield] we've got five outfielders. We need Eibner to play down there every day and be ready if we need him again."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.