DETROIT -- Left fielder Alex Gordon is rooting for right fielder Jeff Francoeur to tie his club-record 20 outfield assists before the season ends.
"He's trying really hard to get it. He's telling me he wants to get it and tie me, and if there's any guy that I want to share the record with, it's my good friend Frenchy," Gordon said.
"So I hope he gets it. I hope he doesn't beat me but [that he] ties me so we can share it together."
Going into Wednesday night's game against the Tigers, the Royals' outfield had 48 assists, leading the Major Leagues. (Oakland was a far second, with 36.) The Royals also led the Majors last year with 51 outfield assists.
In addition to Francoeur's 19, there was Gordon's 14, followed by Jarrod Dyson (eight), Jason Bourgeois and Lorenzo Cain (three each), and, believe or not, Eric Hosmer, who has one assist in his three exposures to the outfield.
"The whole outfield takes pride in not just one guy doing it but everybody doing it," Gordon said. "Since last year we started getting some assists, taking some pride in it and enjoying it. And it just carried on."
Oddly enough, on Monday night, Francoeur threw past second base trying to nab the Tigers' Austin Jackson. Though Gordon retrieved the ball and threw out the runner at third, Francoeur was assessed an error because a run scored on the play.
So Francoeur didn't get an assist but, in a way, he assisted Gordon in getting one.
Alcides Escobar, with 30 doubles and 32 stolen bases, is the first 30/30 Royal in those categories since Carlos Beltran (44 doubles, 35 steals) in 2002.
When Billy Butler knocked in his 102nd run on Monday night, it tied for the 19th most in team history, matching Danny Tartabull in 1988 and Mike Sweeney in 1999.
Good barometer: When the Royals have scored first this year, their record (through Tuesday) is 52-22. Which means that when the opponents scored first, the Royals were 18-62.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.