Royals manager Ned Yost knew it was only a matter of time before the bats would come alive, and the luxury of never having to worry about run prevention made it that much easier to weather the sluggish offensive start.
"Our pitchers know that they have the freedom to pitch to contact, because our coaches are really, really good at placing our defenders in the right spot and our guys are really, really good at catching the ball and getting outs," Yost said. "So it helps them perform their job better and easier and exactly, when we struggle offensively and we're still winning ballgames like we did, the majority was on the pitching, the bullpen and the defense."
Heading into Sunday's series finale with the White Sox, the Royals led the Majors with 93 runs saved and a 79.9 Ultimate Zone Rating, per fangraphs.com. First baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez both earned American Laegue Gold Glove Awards last season, and Yost believes third baseman Mike Moustakas will win a Gold Glove down the road.
"I don't worry about any of the defense," Yost said. "The outfield defense is spectacular. Our infield defense is spectacular. And we've got a Gold Glove catcher behind home plate. They're a very talented group defensively."
Kansas City also ranked third in MLB in ERA (3.69) and fifth in bullpen ERA (3.50).
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.