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?"
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.