Ned Yost saw that Alex Gordon was dragging a little bit early in the week. So the Kansas City manager gave the outfielder a day off Wednesday. With the team not playing Thursday, Gordon had two full days to rest.
The move paid off in a big way as he homered twice to drive in three runs, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
"I definitely felt it. I felt fresh and felt good," Gordon said.
Gordon hit a two-run home run over the bullpen in right field in the bottom of the first inning and added a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth.
Gordon's second home run was the 1,500th hit of his career and gave him the fifth multihomer game of his career and first since August 20, 2016.
"It's cool. I'm lucky to play this game as long as I have and very humbled by 1,500 hits and I'm just happy that I'm still able to do it," Gordon said.
Homer Bailey (4-3) gave up one run and four hits in five-plus innings, and Scott Barlow struck out a career-high six in two innings of relief for the Royals. Jorge Soler added his team-leading 10th home run of the season.
"I thought Homer was good," Yost said. "I didn't think he was great, but he was good. I thought he continued to make pitches all night long. He just executed pitches all night long."
Bailey left after giving up back-to-back singles to lead off the sixth. Barlow came in and pitched around a one-out walk to strike out the side and leave the bases loaded, then struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh inning.
"I thought it was an opportunity for us to do some damage. That's for sure," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "Obviously you want to drive the ball in that situation, but it's round ball, round bat, and sometimes you do everything in your power and the other guy just beats you. I think that's what happened in that situation. Barlow pitched a good inning there."
After giving up 10 runs in 10 innings over his first two starts, Bailey has allowed just 12 runs in his last six outings with a 3.48 ERA over 31 innings.
Jake Diekman worked his eighth consecutive scoreless outing, striking out two batters in the eighth inning and Ian Kennedy pitched a perfect ninth. The Royals' bullpen threw four hitless innings and struck out eight.
"I don't think you could say enough good words about the job the bullpen did tonight," Bailey said.
Phillies starter Jake Arrieta (4-3) also went five-plus innings, giving up four runs and seven hits. He allowed three home runs in a start for the first time since May 29, 2015, against the Royals. Gordon also went deep in that game.
"Just too many mistakes up in the zone," Arrieta said. "The sinker has to be down; it has to be more down, to force him to put the ball on the ground. The one that he hit out in the fourth or fifth inning was too much elevated in a 2-0 count. And the first pitch of the at-bat to Soler was just up. Those need to be down. Three mistakes got hit over the fence. Just need to be better."
Bryce Harper walked three times and scored Philadelphia's only run of the game, coming home on Odubel Herrera's RBI grounder in the fourth.
Battle of the best
J.T. Realmuto has thrown out 11 baserunners and has a 50% caught stealing rate, both tops in the MLB. Kansas City leads the majors with 37 stolen bases this season with a 72.5% success rate. On Friday, Realmuto caught two of four runners stealing, keeping his 50% mark on the season. Adalberto Mondesi swiped two bags, his 11th and 12th of the season, and is now tied with the Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson for the major league lead.
Philadelphia had its first regular-season game in Kansas City since June 10, 2007, and just the 13th meeting overall between the two teams. For Philadelphia, it's tied for the fewest games played against any single opponent. It's the second-fewest games played against an opponent for Kansas City, with Friday's game breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Phillies: Gabe Kapler said infielder Scott Kingery (right hamstring strain) could begin a minor-league rehab assignment on Monday. ... Pitchers RHP David Robertson (right elbow soreness) and RHP Tommy Hunter (right forearm strain) played catch for first time Friday, but neither is close to a return to game action.
Royals: RHP Brad Keller (2-3, 3.99 ERA) will make his first career start against the Phillies on Saturday. Keller pitched 5 1/3 innings Sunday, allowing two runs on six hits and taking a no-decision in a 5-2 loss to Detroit.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (4-3, 3.00 ERA) will face the Royals for the first time.