For a team that couldn’t hit the ocean falling out of a boat for two games and eight innings, Royals starter Danny Duffy had a feeling in the bottom of the ninth. He knew who was due up.

“You got Gordo coming up and you know something big’s going to happen,” Duffy said.

Like a charm, Alex Gordon’s home run gave the Royals a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Twins that protected Kansas City’s 1 1/2-game lead over the Tigers for first place in the America League Central.

For eight innings, Royals’ bats were feeble — for a third straight game.

After getting solo home runs for their scoring in each of the previous two games, the Royals didn’t look like they would muster that against Twins starter Ricky Nolasco in the opener of a three-game series.

Three singles through eight innings, that was the Royals tally, and those led to nothing.

But the ninth…

Alcides “Esky” Escobar opened with a flare to center field off Twins lefty reliever Glen Perkins.

Up stepped Gordon, who took a fastball for strike one.

Perkins’ next pitch, a slider, caught too much of the plate and Gordon got all of it, although initially he wasn’t certain.

“No, not at all,” Gordon said. “It barely got out. I thought the right fielder was on it, possibly off the well so I ran hard. I was so excited when it went over. I was pretty pumped for our team.”

The ball crossed the wall just beside the 387 sign in right center and was measured at 394 feet.

The Royals had posted their third walk-off victory of the season, the first by a home run. It marked the second time in Gordon’s career that he won a game in such dramatic fashion.

Afterwards, he took the Gatorade bath delivered by Salvador Perez and enjoyed every drop.