Gordon sails past half-century mark in doubles
Royals left fielder is three shy of McRae's club record set in 1977
DETROIT -- Alex Gordon has reached the half-century mark and beyond in the two-base hit department.
The Royals' left fielder banged his 50th and 51st doubles in Wednesday night's 5-4 loss to the Tigers. His previous high was 45 last season.
"It's pretty cool," Gordon said. "Any time you get a career high in something when you've been playing for a while, it's pretty special. But I guess when you're not hitting home runs, those home runs turn into doubles, so that's what going on."
He chuckled after he said that but, true enough, while Gordon's doubles total is up, his home runs have dropped to 12 this year from last year's 23, his career best.
At 51 entering Thursday's series finale, he's just three shy of Hal McRae's club record of 54 doubles in 1977.
"If there's a triple out there, everyone asks if I go for three, or stop at second," he said with a grin. "But we'll see."
Knowing Gordon, he's not going to stop at second base just for the sake of a record. He's just happy to be up there with the all-time club leaders. Now he's tied for second place with Billy Butler at 51, achieved in 2009.
"It's pretty special to be up there with Hal McRae and what Billy did a couple years ago with 51," Gordon said. "So it's pretty cool to be in that category."
What's gone almost unnoticed is that Gordon also established a career high in games played, reaching 155 on Thursday. That puts him in every Royals games this season except one. His previous highs were 151 games in 2007 as a rookie and again last year. The seasons in between were bedeviled by injuries.
"Sometimes it's about being out there on the field, and the numbers add up when you're out there," Gordon said. "Coming from injuries, I've learned that. Just try to be on the field every day and try to do something."
With his 103rd RBI on Wednesday night, Billy Butler tied George Brett (1988) and Raul Ibanez (2002) for the 17th-best seasons in club history.
Reliever Vin Mazzaro marked his 26th birthday on Thursday. He shares the date with former Royals pitcher Dave Wickersham, 77, who notched the first save in team history on April 12, 1969, at Oakland.
Irving Falu's three hits on Wednesday night boosted his average to .379 (25-for-66) in 19 games. He's 10-for-22 (.455) from the right-hand side.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.