KANSAS CITY -- After hitting just one home run in the first two months, first baseman Eric Hosmer has eight in his last 79 at-bats, including a two-run shot to center field in Thursday's 10-7 victory over the Indians at Kauffman Stadium.
"When you hit one, they come in bunches," Hosmer said. "I've been feeling good at the plate and trying to put good swings on balls and sticking with my approach."
Whatever he's doing is working, as he's batting 11-for-25 (.440) with four homers and seven runs during a six-game hitting streak.
Hosmer was named the Royals' Player of the Month in June after batting .303 with six homers and 17 RBIs. He is batting .359 in the seventh inning or later, which ranks third in the American League.
"We've been talking about getting Hoz back on track all year long, and the importance of it to our baseball team, and it has been evident here the last few weeks what he's capable of doing offensively," manager Ned Yost said. "We think that he's a huge threat in our lineup and has the opportunity to be a tremendous run producer for us."
Hosmer credits batting coaches George Brett and Pedro Grifol for his recent surge and improvement in his approach at the plate.
"George and Pedro have done a great job of getting him freed up and getting him back into a position where he can drive the ball like he did last night," Yost said. "When he was really struggling, he could sit on fastball but he wasn't getting it. Last night, he sat on a fastball and wasn't going to miss it and he didn't. Those are all good signs for our offense."
Gordon undergoes concussion tests after collision
KANSAS CITY -- Left fielder Alex Gordon was undergoing tests on Thursday to determine the severity of a possible concussion resulting from his collision with the fence during Wednesday's game against the Indians.
"He'll be looked at today and all day tomorrow," manager Ned Yost said before Thursday's series finale against the Indians.
There exists the possibility that Gordon could go on the seven-day concussion list, depending on the outcome of the tests. He banged his head on a padded post in front of the Royals' bullpen while chasing a fly ball in the sixth inning of the 6-5 victory and lay on the warning track for several minutes before getting up and leaving the game.
At the minimum, Gordon is expected to be out for a couple of days.
"Even if he's OK, the bruise on his hip is pretty substantial," Yost said. "That's going to take a day or two at least, and maybe even longer. And that's not even knowing where he is on the concussion stuff at the moment."
After Wednesday night's rain-delayed game, Gordon answered reporters' questions in the clubhouse and complained most about his sore hip and backside.
"I've just got a bruise and my butt hurts a little bit, and that's about it," Gordon said.
Bearing in mind the severe problems created by concussions in players such as Corey Koskie and Justin Morneau, Yost said the Royals are approaching Gordon's condition with great caution.
Chen played role of first responder for Gordon
KANSAS CITY -- Contrasting with the deep concern expressed over Alex Gordon's frightening fall on Wednesday night, the mood was definitely lighter as the Royals' star was doing better on Thursday.
Reliever Bruce Chen was the "first responder" as members of the Royals' bullpen charged out of the gate to check on the prone Gordon.
According to manager Ned Yost, the immediate conversation between Chen and Gordon went like this:
"Alex, can you hear me?"
"Are you OK?"
"Bruce didn't know what to do," Yost continued, "So he said, 'Can I get you anything?'"
Chen confirmed that, and while it was amusing on the morning after, it wasn't at the time.
"I didn't know what to do, I felt bad for the guy. He's on the floor," Chen said. "I know I can't touch him and I know help is on the way, but it seemed like it was taking forever."
"There's my teammate laying there in pain and the last thing you want to do is make things worse. I didn't know what to say. I felt like I wanted to do something for him."
What struck Chen, his teammates and the fans at that moment was how still Gordon was before he began stirring.
"He plays so hard and he always gets up," Chen said. "This time he didn't get up and we're like: 'Oh my gosh, for him not to get up, it must be something really bad.'"
Chen was so fast to get onto the field, Yost figured the ball that became an inside-the-park, three-run homer for the Indians' Jason Kipnis was still rolling in the outfield.
So his later tongue-in-check question to Chen was: "Why didn't you just open the gate, run and get the ball and throw it in for us?"
Royals powerless to preserve win for Guthrie
KANSAS CITY -- It wasn't enough that Wednesday night's game was delayed for more than 2 1/2 hours by rain. There was another 12-minute delay in the seventh inning, when part of the Kauffman Stadium lights went out automatically at midnight.
Apparently, someone neglected to inform the computer that the game had been delayed and would go well into the morning. After Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie waited out the 12-minute delay while the lights reheated and fully illuminated, he walked two batters and was out of the game. Those two runners scored later in the inning as the Indians tied the game.
"It cost Guthrie a win," manager Ned Yost said.
At least it didn't cost the Royals the game, thanks to Eric Hosmer's game-deciding home run in the bottom of the inning.
Long after the game ended at 1:06 a.m. CT, and the fans had enjoyed the Fourth of July fireworks, the cleanup crews were at work and reporters were working in the press box when suddenly, just outside the quiet stadium, a display of fireworks suddenly went off in vibrant, colorful profusion.
It was close to 3 o'clock in the morning and no one seemed quite sure how or why that happened.
"It was just par for the night then," Yost said.
After long night, Perez gets day off
KANSAS CITY - Catcher Salvador Perez got a rare day off from the Royals' starting lineup on Thursday against the Indians, but it really wasn't because of his bruised right leg.
"It was a late, late long night [on Wednesday]," manager Ned Yost said. "I mean, his leg's sore, but if it was a night game, he'd probably be in there."
Backup George Kottaras got his 14th start of the season. Five of those starts came while Perez was away on bereavement leave.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.