The KC Royals have won nine in a row.
Let that sink in for a bit.
Problem is, everyone in front of them keeps winning too (ie Cleveland has won eight in a row) so they have not picked up any ground. They have moved up in the Wild Card standings, but Tampa Bay and the Indians hold those two spots.
The Royals beat the Minnesota Twins this afternoon, 7-2 behind ace James Shields. Shields was not on his game, as he walked five in six innings and threw 116 pitches. But by the time he left the game, he was leading 7-2.
After Shields left the game, the only blemish for the Royals bullpen was a leadoff walk by Luke Hochevar in the 8th inning. That base runner was immediately erased on a double play ground out. Hochevar pitched two shutout innings with two strikeouts. Louis Coleman closed out the victory by striking out the side in the ninth.
The Royals offense scored the majority of their runs on outs. Mike Moustakas had a sac fly in the second and Eric Hosmer had one in the third. Alcides Escobar grounded out in the fourth, as did Miguel Tejada in the fifth. Billy Butler had the big hit, a two out, two-run single in the sixth.
Every Royal had at least one hit, except for Hosmer. Lorenzo Cain returned to the lineup after missing a few games with a groin injury. He went 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored. Newly acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell made his Royals debut in right field and went 1-for-3 (Chris Getz was placed on the DL to make room for him on the roster). He drove in a run in the 2nd inning with a single.
The Royals continue on the road to NY, as they face the Mets this weekend. Thankfully, the Royals miss both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Wade Davis gets the start in Friday night’s opener against Dillon Gee. Butler is expected to pinch-hit only in the three-game series.
*In case you were wondering about the teams ahead of KC in the American League Central standings, first place Detroit had today off and play a three-game series at home against the Chicago White Sox. The Indians will also be partaking in Interleague Play, as they head to Miami.