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Royals' errorless streak ends in eighth game

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KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Eric Hosmer winced when the subject was brought up by a reporter before Tuesday night's game: The Royals, in their first seven games of the season, had not made a single fielding error.

"You'll jinx us," Hosmer said, telling the reporter to knock on wood or something.

Maybe he had something. Sure enough, in the fifth inning of the game against the Twins, third baseman Mike Moustakas booted Darin Mastroianni's hopper for the Royals' first error of the season. That came after 64 2/3 flawless innings.

Still, committing no errors in the first seven games was a first in franchise history. And it gave confirmation to manager Ned Yost's firm belief that defense would be one of his team's strong points.

Hosmer diplomatically stirred attention to the opposite side of the field, mentioning third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Alcides Escobar and left fielder Alex Gordon.

"It's probably the best left side in baseball," Hosmer said. "I think the biggest difference is how strong the throwing arms are. Moose and Esky, with their range, can make plays in the hole but with that extra step in the hole, they have the arm strength that the average guy doesn't have. That's where they gain ground on the other guys -- their arm strength. It's unreal."

Gordon led the Major Leagues in outfield assists in 2011, was second to teammate Jeff Francoeur last season and won Gold Gloves both years.

Francoeur plays right field behind Hosmer and second baseman Chris Getz.

"Getzy is Mr. Reliable over there. He catches everything. And me, I just try to get the infield as confident as possible -- where they just have to turn and fire and they don't have to worry about accuracy. I try to take care of the rest for them," Hosmer said.

"For our defense being like that, it gives the pitchers a lot of confidence."

Sure does.

"It's a pretty big deal if you're not going out there and striking out 15 guys a game," starting pitcher Wade Davis said. "It's pretty huge to have a defense back there making everything."

Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and backup Jarrod Dyson both cover huge amount of ground and throw well.

"It's probably the best defense I've seen on the field, one through nine. You throw in Salvy [Perez] and you're not going to get many catchers that do what he does," Davis said. "And the other seven guys out there are pretty good."

After Moustakas' error, only two Major League teams remained without an error -- Detroit and Boston, each through seven games.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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