KANSAS CITY -- Whether Terrance Gore is the fastest player in baseball isn't the point. The point is that the 23-year-old rookie already has proved he can make a difference in September for the Royals.
Gore was used as a pinch-runner on Wednesday night, stole third base and scored on an error for the final run in a 4-1 victory over the Rangers at Kauffman Stadium. So the plan worked.
"That's what I'm here for -- to cause hazic or havoc, whatever it's called," Gore said with a smile.
We'll stick with havoc. That was the idea when the Royals plucked the basestealing whiz from Class A Advanced Wilmington, let him test his wings with Triple-A Omaha and then promoted him to the Major Leagues on Tuesday with designs on using him as a pinch-runner. So that's why he replaced Billy Butler at second base in the seventh inning.
"Speed puts a lot of tension on the defense," manager Ned Yost said. "They know what it is, they know who he is, and it just puts a lot of pressure on that defense and things like that happen.
"He got a nice jump, stole the base, and the good thing about it was, even when he stole, he still had presence of mind to know where the ball was and get up. He saw it -- he wasn't looking around -- and, bam, he was gone. So I thought he did a great job. It's going to be fun watching him."
Gore had made his big league debut on Tuesday night, entering as a pinch-runner after Mike Moustakas doubled, and was thrown out trying to advance to third on a ground ball. He thought he was pretty calm about it.
"I wasn't as nervous as I thought I was going to be, but definitely today I was more relaxed and more myself," he said.
And Gore had no doubt he was going to steal third base, scoring when catcher Tomas Telis' throw went into left field was a bonus.
"As soon I saw that the ball trickled away I just scored from there," Gore said. "No hesitation, I just wanted to score so bad."
His teammate and mentor, fellow swifty Jarrod Dyson, likes what he sees so far.
"He's got a lot of natural ability," Dyson said. "It's all about teaching him the right things -- the right situations when to run, when not to run, what key to run off of and stuff like that. For the most part, he's got the asset that you really want, and that's the speed and you can't teach that."
In the victorious clubhouse, Gore packed his equipment bag for his first road trip, to New York's Yankee Stadium. He carefully placed a pair of blue shoes right on top.
"That's all I need," he said, "is my shoes."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.