KANSAS CITY -- When Royals reliever Jeremy Jeffress fanned Cleveland's Brent Lillibridge in the eighth inning of Sunday's game, he gave the pitching staff quite the distinction.
It was the 1,154th strikeout of the season by the Royals' staff, a new club record. The 2009 Royals held the previous mark with 1,153 K's.
"Cool," said reliever Aaron Crow, who's contributed 65 punchouts to the club's season total.
The Royals' bullpen has been a main contributor to the record. The relief corps has been on a strikeout kick all season, and their collective total of 526 led all American League bullpens entering play on Monday.
"With Tim [Collins] and Greg [Holland], and Kelvin [Herrera] and [Louis] Coleman, those guys can strike out guys with the best of them," Crow said. "They've done a good job, but at the end of the day if you get a ground ball or a popup or a strikeout, it's the same thing. You just try to get guys out, and strikeouts mean you're dominant and have good stuff."
The Royals fanned two more Indians after Jeffress' momentous strikeout, and the total stood at 1,156 heading into Monday's series opener with Detroit.