KANSAS CITY -- Running on the Royals' outfield arms is a dangerous decision.
Kansas City racked up its 51st outfield assist of the season in Monday night's series opener against Detroit, as left fielder Alex Gordon threw out Andy Dirks, who was attempting to advance from first to third on an Avisail Garcia single in the fifth inning.
No. 51 in this campaign matched the mark set last year by the Royals' outfielders. They need two more to match the franchise record set in 1969.
The Royals lead all Major League teams in outfield assists. Entering play Monday, the next closest team was Oakland with 37.
Gordon's fifth-inning assist was his 18th of the year, and he trails Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur by just one. Francoeur's 19 lead the Majors. Gordon was baseball's assists leader among outfielders in 2011 with a club-record 20.
If Francoeur finishes as the league leader, the Royals will become the first team since the 1909-10 Red Sox to have two different players lead the league in outfield assists in back-to-back seasons.