These days, Kansas City is more than just a place to find good barbecue. It's now the place for good baseball.
The Kansas City Royals won their eighth-straight game with an 11-8 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
The Tigers still hold a a half game lead in the American League Central Division, but the Royals are threatening. If they can tattoo any other pitcher in the league like they did perennial Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, they'll continue their meteoric rise up the standings.
Kansas City had 12 hits off Verlander on Monday, scoring seven runs off him in six innings. Verlander only mustered two strikeouts and Omar Infante hit a third inning home run off him.
"We prepared like we always do. For every start last year and the year before," manager Ned Yost told the official team website. "He's been in this game a long time and I know guys can put together two or three rough starts and then come out and be dynamite. The minute you think a guy's struggling, you're going to get spanked."
The Royals did the spanking on Monday.
All but one starter had a hit and seven Royals had at least two hits. Left fielder Alex Gordon and center fielder Lorenzo Cain collected three hits apiece.
Along with Nori Aoki and Jarrod Dyson, the Kansas City outfield is considered one of the most athletic in all of baseball.
Cain leads the team with a .310 batting average with a .761 on-base plus slugging percentage, which ranks third on the team. Speed is the name of Cain's game as he has swiped six bases while legging out 10 doubles.
Dyson may be the fastest on the team with 10 stolen bases in 44 games. He's batting .293 and splits starting time in center with Cain.
Gordon is batting .286 and is tied for the team lead in home runs with seven. He's the most-veteran member of the Royals, though he's only 30, with seven years of Major League Baseball experience.
Aoki is in his first season with Kansas City after spending the past two with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Japan-native is currently batting .259 with 11 doubles.
While the Kansas City outfield is solidified nicely and provides the proper mix or power and average, the Royals are blessed in the infield with the hottest hitting shortstop in the league.
He's also keen with the glove, too.
Alcides Escobar is riding an 11-game hitting streak, while leading the Royals with 20 doubles. He's sporting a .289 batting average while playing through a calf injury.
The Royals aren't your typical contending baseball team, but their cast of emerging stars are holding their own and making a name for themselves.
They'll play the Tigers again on Tuesday in a battle for first place. At 37-32, the Royals are surging and there's no better way to keep their hot streak going than against the division-leading Tigers.
Detroit may not be in that position for much longer.
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