Kansas City Royals, last unbeaten team in majors, defy expectations

The Kansas City Royals are defying expectations through the first week of the season

The Kansas City Royals did not get a lot of love this spring. The Cleveland Indians were the trendy pick to win the American League Central. The Detroit Tigers were the solid pick. The Chicago White Sox were the sleeper pick.

The Royals were the defending American League champions, but the respect they got this spring reflected this consensus: They were a wild-card team last season, a team that trailed by four runs in the eighth inning of the wild-card playoff game. They were the hottest team in the league -- they swept the Angels and Baltimore Orioles en route to the World Series -- but maybe not the best.

Or maybe they are. They are the last unbeaten team in the major leagues. They swept the Angels over the weekend.

They lead the majors in runs, and they have given up the fewest runs in the American League. In seven games, they have made one error.

The Royals will cool down, of course. They lost their right fielder, Alex Rios, to a broken finger on Tuesday. But consider this: In the last 19 games in which Madison Bumgarner does not appear against them, the Royals are 18-1.

They visited Minnesota for the first time this season on Monday. They won, 12-3, with a home run from Kendrys Morales. This would be the same Kendrys Morales who played for the Twins for two months last season without hitting a single home run in Minnesota.

Twitter: @BillShaikin

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