KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Alex Gordon reversed a miserable night Friday — for himself and the Royals — with a dramatic three-run homer that produced a 7-5 walk-off victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium.
Gordon was hitless in four previous at-bats and had stranded six runners before driving a 1-0 pitch from Orioles closer Alfredo Simon through a light drizzle into the right-field seats.
It was the Royals' first walk-off homer in more than two years. David DeJesus had the last one on July 12, 2008, against Seattle here at the K.
The Royals were down to their last out — after blowing leads of 3-0 and 4-3 — before storming back. Rick Ankiel worked a two-out walk and raced to third when Wilson Betemit, atoning for a costly error, delivered his third single.
Gordon took a ball before launching his homer.
Blake Wood (1-2) gained his first major-league victory by pitching a scoreless ninth after Kyle Farnsworth coughed up a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning.
Simon (2-2) was the loser.
The victory snapped a five-game skid and was only the fourth for the Royals in their last 18 games. It looked grim until the late comeback.
Nick Markakis opened the Baltimore eighth inning against Farnsworth with a sharp single back through the box. Markakis scored on Ty Wigginton's RBI double into the right-center gap.
Luke Scott flared a single to left that moved Wigginton to third before Adam Jones hit a chopper to third.
If Betemit handles the ball cleanly, he has a play at the plate on Wigginton. But Betemit booted the ball, and Wigginton scored the go-ahead run.
Everyone was safe on the error, but the Orioles botched the chance for a bigger inning. A poor sacrifice bunt by Felix Pie resulted in an out at third before a strikeout/caught-stealing double play ended the inning. That would prove costly.
Simon began the ninth by retiring Billy Butler and Jose Guillen on grounders to short before Ankiel started the comeback with a walk.
Farnsworth's struggles snatched a victory away from Sean O'Sullivan, who delivered a quality start in his first home appearance since arriving last week in a trade that sent third baseman Alberto Callaspo.
O'Sullivan allowed three runs and four hits in six innings while walking two and striking out none. Lefty Dusty Hughes nursed a 4-3 lead through a one-two-three seventh inning before the Orioles roughed up Farnsworth.
Baltimore starter Jake Arrieta allowed three runs in the first and, really, didn't pitch much better through the remainder of his 4 1/3 innings. The Royals simply failed to cash opportunities.
Chris Getz opened the first inning by extending Arrieta to 13 pitches before striking out — and maybe it had an effect.
Jason Kendall followed with a walk and went to second when Butler drove a single up the middle. Left fielder Felix Pie ran down Guillen's deep drive into the left-center gap, but Ankiel drove an RBI double into nearly the same spot.
Betemit's two-run single through the right side made it 3-0 before Arrieta completed a 35-pitch inning by retiring Gordon on a fly to right.
O'Sullivan and Kendall helped the Orioles get one run back in the second. Jones led off with a four-pitch walk, stole second and went to third on Kendall's throwing error — his 11th error of the season. No other catcher is in double figures.
Pie's sacrifice fly produced the run.
Baltimore closed to within 3-2 in the third when Wigginton followed Markakis' two-out single with a double over Ankiel's head in center.
The Royals loaded the bases with one out in their third on a walk and two singles, but Arrieta struck out Gordon on a borderline pitch before Yuniesky Betancourt grounded back to the mound.
Guillen opened the fifth with a drive into the right-field corner for his 300th career double. Arrieta struck out Ankiel before Guillen went to third on a wild pitch. A walk to Betemit brought reliever Jason Berken into the game.
Berken ended the threat by getting Gordon to ground into a double play.
That missed opportunity enabled the Orioles to pull even in the sixth after Markakis led off with a walk. He went to third on Wigginton's single and scored on Scott's sacrifice fly.
O'Sullivan hit Jones, which put runners at first and second, but escaped the inning without further damage.