10/04/12 1:20 AM ET
Royals' bullpen sets AL standard for K's
By Dick Kaegel and Vinnie Duber / MLB.com
That would be the 2012 Royals, who combined for 535 punchouts with two more in Wednesday's 1-0 loss to the Tigers in the season finale. Seven K's over the previous two games by the Kansas City relievers vaulted them past the 2001 Indians, who struck out 527 batters during that campaign.
It's a pretty great way to cap a fine season for the Royals' relievers.
"For us, as a bullpen, it seems like it's been a really long year. It seems like we were out there every single day," reliever Tim Collins said. "It's pretty awesome, with such a young group, that we can go out and get a record such as the most strikeouts of all time for the American League. I think that's just a testament to how hard our guys work and the work that we put in day in and day out. We're just ready to go every day, and go out there and do our job."
Entering Wednesday, the Royals boasted five of the top 27 strikeout relievers in the league, with Collins leading the AL with 93 strikeouts and Greg Holland third with 91. Kelvin Herrera ranked 13th with 77 K's, Aaron Crow was 24th with 65 and Louis Coleman ranked 27th with 63 punchouts.
"That's from being out there a lot. Obviously the more opportunities you get, the more strikeouts you may have," Collins said. "Guys like Kelvin and Crow and Greg, those guys are out there every single day."
Dyson's season ends early due to lat strain
KANSAS CITY -- Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson's season ended four innings prematurely on Wednesday night.
Dyson, who has been bothered by a lat strain near his right shoulder, was lifted after making a throw to second base when Austin Jackson doubled to drive in the Tigers' only run in their 1-0 victory.
"I felt it just a little bit and when I told them, they took me out so I wouldn't make it any worse than it was," Dyson said. "You want somebody out there that can make a throw if it comes to it. Not saying I can't make the throw, but just didn't want to put more pressure on my arm. But it wasn't bad or anything like that."
Jason Bourgeois pinch-hit for Dyson in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Butler, Guthrie earn monthly KC awards
KANSAS CITY -- Billy Butler, who led the American League in hits after Sept. 1, was named the Royals' Player of the Month for September-October in a vote of Kansas City media.
Butler batted .336 with 41 hits, 12 doubles, four homers and 24 RBIs in 31 games.
Jeremy Guthrie was voted the Royals' Pitcher of the Month after going 2-0 with a 2.36 ERA in six starts. He had five "quality starts" and held opponents to a .236 average.
Royals honor employees for heroic work
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals honored several employees during a pregame ceremony on Wednesday for their assistance following a shooting in the Kauffman Stadium parking lot that left an attendant in critical condition.
Renee Bruce was shot in the parking lot before a game on Sept. 14, and a group of six employees and emergency personnel helped keep her and others safe during the incident. On Wednesday, Royals president Dan Glass presented certificates of commendation to the six employees: Kevin Buford, Nancy Cubine, Simon Gray, Pat Hankins, Doug Hatch and Lora Lord.
Bruce's daughter, Janae, and son, Randall Buckner Jr., participated in the ceremony, and Royals outfielders Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon presented Bruce with an autographed bat and jersey.
The Royals have established a fund to help Bruce pay for her medical expenses. Contributions can be made to the Renee Bruce Fund in care of Arvest Bank, and information is available on Royals.com.
Following Wednesday's season finale, the Royals' next home game will be on April 8, 2013 and it will mark the 40th anniversary season at Kauffman Stadium.
The 2013 season will be the Royals' 45th overall, but they didn't start playing at The K -- originally named Royals Stadium -- until 1973, the last year Kansas City hosted the All-Star Game prior to this season. It was officially renamed Kauffman Stadium on July 2, 1993. The Royals played their first four seasons at old Municipal Stadium.
Royals attendance was up slightly this season, final figures showed after Wednesday night's season finale.
The Royals drew 1,738,859 fans to 80 dates this season compared to 1,724,370 to 81 dates in 2011. The average for 2012 was 21,736 per game compared to 21,289 for 2011, an increase of 447 per game.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.