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08/03/12 8:30 PM ET

Royals behind steals pace of last season

KANSAS CITY -- With 11 stolen bases in the four games prior to Friday night, the Royals stood tied for sixth in the American League with 76, same as their opponent, the Rangers.

Kansas City's leaders are Jarrod Dyson with 20 and Alcides Escobar with 19.

Last season the Royals, led by Escobar's 26, finished second in steals among AL teams with 153, just two behind league-leading Tampa Bay's 155.

But this year, the Royals are well behind that pace. A year ago after 104 games, the team had 102 steals or 26 more than this year's total.

"We got to the point last year where nobody paid attention to us and we took advantage of it," manager Ned Yost said. "This year they're playing a lot closer attention to us, so we're trying to be opportunistic. We're not just running to run, or to steal a base. Dyson can do that, [Chris] Getz can steal a tough base, Esky can steal a tough base but everybody else, we're really picking our spots."

Moose tweaks bruised knee while sliding

KANSAS CITY -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was out of the starting lineup against the Rangers on Friday night because of banged-up right knee.

While sliding into second base in Thursday night's 11-inning, 7-6 victory over the Indians, he aggravated the knee he bruised on a fielding play last Saturday at Seattle. With left-hander Matt Harrison starting for the Rangers, manager Ned Yost figured it was a good time to give the left-handed-hitting Moustakas a break.

"He banged his sore knee trying to break up the double play last night. It's a bone bruise in his knee, where the bones kind of banged together in Seattle, and he banged it again," Yost said. "It was a little more sore than it has been. So with the lefty [Harrison] going today, it's a good opportunity to give him a break. If he didn't bang it, I probably wouldn't have given him a break, but it's a good opportunity to and I think he's going to be fine for [Saturday]."

Yuniesky Betancourt, who would have started at second base, instead took over third base. Chris Getz was at second.

Moustakas is expected to play on Saturday when right-hander Scott Feldman starts for the Rangers.

Back in the lineup after not starting for four games was slumping right fielder Jeff Francoeur. Did Frenchy get his batting woes straightened out in practice?

"We'll see," Yost said. "My crystal ball's not working right now."

Royals run their way to history vs. Tribe

KANSAS CITY -- Under the heading of historic facts you'd never know unless it was dug up by those inquisitive guys at the Elias Sports Bureau in New York comes this:

In Thursday night's 11-inning, 7-6 walk-off win over the Indians, the Royals became just the second victorious team in Major League history to score six or more runs in the first inning and then not score in each of the next nine or more innings.

The Royals got six runs in the first, then went scoreless for nine innings (second through 10th) before getting the decisive run in the 11th.

The only other team to do that, according to Elias, was the 1931 New York Yankees in an Aug. 22 victory over the St. Louis Browns, 8-6, at Sportsman's Park on the east side of Missouri. The Yankees scored six runs in the first inning and two in the 11th. Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig was 3-for-4 and shortstop Lyn Lary knocked in four runs.

Royals lefty Everett Teaford termed Kansas City's inclusion as the second team in this odd category as "infamous" and blamed himself for giving up a two-run homer that pulled the Indians into a 6-6 tie.

"I think I caused the infamy by giving up the home run, because we should have won in nine innings and not had those extra innings," Teaford said. "So I feel I caused the unfortunate history and made people stay here later than they might have wanted."

Late though it might have been, the Royals did emerge on top and Teaford could smile about it.

"You can laugh about a win, but if it was a loss, it wouldn't be quite as funny," he said.

Gavel among winners in RBI program

KANSAS CITY -- Jacob Gavel, who participated in the Kansas City, Kan., RBI program, is one of 12 high school seniors to win a $5,000 college scholarship from Major League Baseball Charities.

Gavel plans to attend the University of Central Missouri where he'll study actuary science. The winners are college-bound athletes selected on the basis of academic record, leadership, participation in school and communities activities, and financial need.

In high school, Gavel was active in the band and baseball and was on the youth advisory board for KCK RBI.

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