Now Commenting On:

Royals picking their spots on basepaths

Royals picking their spots on basepaths play video for Royals picking their spots on basepaths

KANSAS CITY -- Even though the Royals were ranked third in the American League with 24 stolen bases -- just two behind the Red Sox -- entering Monday's action, they're not particularly interested in leading the league. Just making them count.

"We're not running less, but we pick our spots. We picked our spots before," manager Ned Yost said. "I think teams have put an emphasis on controlling the running game more, so you have to pick your spots. You just don't blindly run out there to run. You have to pick your spots; they have to be in good strategic places in the game -- when hopefully the odds are in your favor."

Yost pointed out that Lorenzo Cain's steal of second base in Sunday's 10th inning set up the 6-5 win over the White Sox. After left-handed batter Mike Moustakas struck out, Cain took off on a 2-1 pitch to right-handed Jeff Francoeur.

"At first, I was leaving the hole open for Moose, because he's a lefty, keeping that guy on first base," Cain said. "So I didn't try it that first at-bat. Once we got that first out, I figured, 'We've got to take a chance here.' That's what I did, and slid into the back of the bag safely."

Francoeur grounded out, Cain holding second, and the White Sox intentionally walked Chris Getz. George Kottaras then drew a walk to load the bases and Alex Gordon's hit ended the game.

"If Cain doesn't steal that base, and it was a bang-bang play at second, I don't know that we win in the 10th," Yost said. "They don't end up walking Getz, and then George comes up and has a great at-bat and Gordy comes up and has a great at-bat. So we run when it's right for us to run."

Last season, the Royals finished with 132 stolen bases, fourth in the league, but just three behind Minnesota's AL-best 135.

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

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español