SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - If spring training is any indicator, Alex Gordon may be headed for that breakout season Kansas City has been waiting on since drafting him second overall in 2005.
Gordon hit a two-run homer in the seventh to lift the Royals to a 4-3 victory over an Oakland Athletics split squad Tuesday.
Gordon went 2 for 3 to hike his average to .367. He also has drawn a Cactus League-leading 11 walks and has a .558 on-base percentage.
Gordon moved from third base to left field last season and had more at_bats with Triple-A Omaha than Kansas City. He floundered in the majors, hitting .215 with 20 RBIs and 18 extra-base hits in 74 games.
After beginning spring training 1 for 13 - the lone hit a broken-bat single - Gordon is 10 for 17 (.588) and leads the Royals with three home runs and 12 RBIs.
``Alex has got it pretty dialed in,' manager Ned Yost said. ``It's hard to predict when exactly it's going to click for somebody. Alex has really worked his tail off this winter with Seitz (hitting coach Kevin Seitzer). I mean, everyday in the cage, revamping his swing.
``When he got here, the timing was off. I always had the feeling if the timing got right, look out. We're seeing a little bit of that right now. He needed to see some consistent at_bats.'
Nate Adcock, a Royals Rule 5 pick from the Pittsburgh Pirates, made his first start and threw three scoreless innings, giving up three hits. He yielded a leadoff double to Conor Jackson in the second, but stranded him at third base.
``That was very impressive,' Yost said of Adcock's performance.
Adcock has pitched eight scoreless innings in five appearances.
``It's getting a little more exciting,' Adcock said of his opportunity to break camp with the club. ``Every time you take the mound, you know you've got an opportunity to make the club and help the club out. I will say on the first pitch my heart was pounding and my adrenaline was going. After the first pitch, I calmed down.'
Adcock has never pitched above Class A, going 11-7 with a 3.38 ERA as a starter last season in the Florida State League.
``My mentality right now is home plate and the pitching rubber has not changed, it's 60 feet, six inches,' Adcock said. ``It's just different hitters, but I try not to look at the names, but at the catcher.'
Right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who signed with the A's as a free agent in December, gave up two runs on five hits in 5 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking none. He threw 55 of his 75 pitches for strikes.
``He was very outstanding,' A's manager Bob Geren said. ``That's one of our best starts this spring from any of our guys. He almost went six innings and did a nice job. He was efficient with his pitches. He's still fighting for that fifth starter's spot.'
Geren said ``without a doubt' this has to help McCarthy's chances.
Notes: RHP Vin Mazzaro, competing for a spot in the Royals' rotation, threw four innings in a 'B' game Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, allowing one run, a homer to Brian Barden, and three hits with three strikeouts and a walk. ... 3B Mike Moustakas homered for the Royals, while 1B Eric Hosmer had two hits and a RBI. ... LHP Robert Fish, who the Royals claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees, arrived in camp Tuesday and is scheduled to pitch Wednesday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
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