Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Playoff Race: Alex Gordon's Homer Rescues Royals

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The Kansas City Royals were looking down the barrel of their 3rd straight loss Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium, traiing the Twins 1-0 in the 9th inning, when Alex Gordon launched a 2-run shot into the right field seats to give Kansas City a wild come-from-behind victory.

The win protected KC’s slim 1.5 game lead in the A.L. Central and prevented the team from losing the momentum they have built with an outstanding August (18-6).

Gordon picked a great time to hit his 16th home run of the season, and it might have been the biggest hit of his MLB career given that this is the first time the Royals have been in a pennant race in 11 years.

Gordon’s bomb also saved starter Danny Duffy from getting stuck with a tough-luck loss after leaving the game trailing 1-0 in the 7th.

A.L CENTRAL

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 KCR 73 58 .557 W 1 34-29 39-29 18-21 53-40 20-18 38-36 35-22 6-4 22-8
2 DET 71 59 .546 1.5 W 3 34-29 37-30 19-18 46-40 25-19 37-33 34-26 6-4 14-16
3 CLE 67 63 .515 5.5 W 3 39-25 28-38 19-17 49-43 18-20 31-38 36-25 7-3 16-14
4 CHW 59 72 .450 14.0 L 7 31-33 28-39 21-20 42-53 17-19 36-45 23-27 2-8 11-19
5 MIN 58 73 .443 15.0 L 3 29-37 29-36 17-20 39-48 19-25 36-49 22-24 3-7 12-18

The Tigers broke the Yankees 5-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory over New York at Comerica Park in Detroit. Rick Porcello earned his 15th win (15-8), and Joe Nathan picked up his 28th save despite struggling much of the season (5.25 ERA).

Detroit remains 1.5 games behind KC in the Central.

Cleveland also won, taking care of the Chicago White Sox 8-6 in 10 innings. DH Zach Walters played the hero, slamming a 2-run shot over the fence in the top of the 10th to give Cleveland the win. The Indians remain 5.5 games behind Kansas City.

Both Detroit and Cleveland have won 3 straight games.

A.L. WILD CARD

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
2  OAK 77 54 .588 L 1 43-23 34-31 18-17 55-38 22-16 40-34 37-20 4-6 14-16
4 KCR 73 58 .557 W 1 34-29 39-29 18-21 53-40 20-18 38-36 35-22 6-4 22-8
5  SEA 72 59 .550 W 1 35-33 37-26 14-23 45-42 27-17 39-25 33-34 6-4 19-11
6  DET 71 59 .546 0.5 W 3 34-29 37-30 19-18 46-40 25-19 37-33 34-26 6-4 14-16
7  NYY 68 62 .523 3.5 L 1 33-31 35-31 21-16 49-44 19-18 32-34 36-28 7-3 16-14
8  CLE 67 63 .515 4.5 W 3 39-25 28-38 19-17 49-43 18-20 31-38 36-25 7-3 16-14
9  TOR 66 66 .500 6.5 L 3 34-30 32-36 12-14 49-49 17-17 33-38 33-28 3-7 13-17
10  TBR 64 68 .485 8.5 L 2 29-36 35-32 19-17 48-49 16-19 38-48 26-20 3-7 15-15

The A’s lost to Houston 4-2 to fall out of a tie atop the A.L. West with the Angels. Oakland still hold the top wild card spot in the A.L and are 4 games ahead of KC in the standings.

Seattle holds the 2nd wild card spot, and remain 1 game behind KC with the Mariners’ 5-0 win over Texas.

Seattle GM Jack Zdurienck signed a multi-year extension as a reward for getting the team in contention for its first playoff berth since 2001. The 63-year old Zdurienck came into the season on the hot seat because the had failed to turn around the franchise after taking over the reins in 2008. Zdurienck rshaped the roster this off-season, including the headline-grabbing signing of top free agent Robinson Cano.

Kansas City GM Dayton Moore needs to thank his lucky stars that he works for David Glass, because he has survived despite not getting the Royals into the playoffs after taking over in 2006.

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Tags: Alex Gordon Danny Duffy Kansas City Royals

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