6/18/2014 1:22 A.M. ET
After 70 games, first place a rare spot for Royals
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
DETROIT -- How rare is it for the Royals to be in first place at this stage of a season?
You have to go back to Aug. 19, 2003, to find the last time they had sole possession of first place after 70 or more games. That was after their 124th game that season. They led the White Sox by one game in the AL Central. Ten days later they were tied for the lead, but then faded away.
Tuesday night's 11-4 win over the Tigers marked their 70th game this year.
If you're wondering when the last time they were on top after exactly 70 games, you have to go back to June 25, 1980, when they led the White Sox by a commanding 8 1/2 games in the AL West. That was the first year the Royals went to the World Series, losing to the Phillies.
What about 1985, when they won it all? At the 70-game mark, the Royals were tied for third, 3 1/2 games behind the Angels in the AL West. But they came on strong, becoming the last Royals team to make the postseason.
And, of course, they beat the Cardinals in the World Series.
Aoki day to day with left groin discomfort
DETROIT -- Royals right fielder Nori Aoki left Tuesday night's 11-4 victory over the Tigers in the second inning with what the trainers described as discomfort in his left groin muscle.
Aoki called it a cramp that he felt while running the bases in that inning.
"When I was running from third to home, I just felt my leg cramp up, right before I slid," he said.
Aoki said he didn't expect to be out long and might even be ready to play in Wednesday's game against the Tigers.
"It'll be a day to day thing," manager Ned Yost said. "He's got a little bit of a groin [injury]. Nick [Kenney, head trainer] doesn't think it's going to be more than a day or two."
Aoki was replaced in right field by Lorenzo Cain, the regular center fielder who had been given a day off from the starting lineup. Cain took a home run away from J.D. Martinez with a leaping catch in the fourth inning.
Jarrod Dyson played center field.
Coleman in, Joseph out in bullpen swap
DETROIT -- Right-hander Louis Coleman was recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday by the Royals, returning to his old spot in the bullpen.
Pressed into duty immediately, Coleman worked the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 11-4 victory, giving up a solo home run to the Tigers' Ian Kinsler.
Left-hander Donnie Joseph, who was belted for six runs in his first appearance this season in Monday night's 11-8 win over the Tigers, was optioned to the Pacific Coast League club.
Coleman was sent down on June 2 after posting a 6.27 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Kansas City. He'd also given up 24 hits and 11 walks in 18 2/3 innings, so he was told to concentrate on throwing strikes.
"And he needed to get his slider a little tighter, it was getting big and loopy and flat," manager Ned Yost said.
In five games with Omaha, Coleman was 1-0 with two saves and a 2.16 ERA. He struck out 10, walked just one and gave up three hits in 8 1/3 innings, making the rounds in his two weeks away.
"I went to Round Rock for a day, Omaha for four, then Fresno and Sacramento," Coleman said. "It was much better."
Coleman also tightened up the mechanics of his delivery.
"Everything feels good. It was very beneficial," he said.
Joseph was called in to finish off the ninth inning with an 11-2 lead in the series opener, but lasted only two-thirds of the inning, giving up five hits including J.D. Martinez's grand slam. Not a good thing.
"Not when you're trying to give your closer a day off and he's got to get up and get hot quick," Yost said.
Closer Greg Holland had to jump up and start throwing.
"He had to, we were one hitter away from a save," Yost said. "If [Michael] Mariot doesn't get that guy out, Holly's got to come in. That's three out of the last four days -- he's pitched one, but the other two he had to get hot with leads."
Mariot struck out the only hitter he faced to end the game.
So Joseph, after his 30-pitch nightmare, was sent away. That was his first game in two callups this year. He did much better in six Major League outings last season, working 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
Joseph, in 17 games with Omaha this year, has a 3.91 ERA, a 1-1 record and one save.
Perez, Moustakas back in lineup after minor injuries
DETROIT -- As expected, catcher Salvador Perez and third baseman Mike Moustakas were in the lineup on Tuesday night despite their mishaps in the series opener.
Perez left the game in the seventh inning with leg cramps and Moustakas was bonked in the forehead by a batted ball.
Perez was just dehydrated and recovered quickly. Moustakas was struck in the ninth inning and shook it off.
"It hit him on a good spot, right on the hard spot of your head. It's where all the pro wrestlers head-butt guys with and all the mean street fighters," manager Ned Yost said.
Because no symptoms were shown, Moustakas was not required to undergo tests for a concussion.
Former Royal Getz visits old teammates
DETROIT -- Former Royals second baseman Chris Getz stopped by the clubhouse to say hello to his former teammates on Tuesday afternoon. He lives in nearby Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Getz retired as a player earlier this season. He started the season with Triple-A Buffalo, surfaced with Toronto for 10 games, and then decided to pack it in at age 30 after being designated for assignment.
"I kind of foresaw a future of a lot of up, down and around and, at this point of the career, I talked to my wife and others about what I wanted to do in the future after baseball," Getz said. "And I just finished up college, let's look into phase two -- post-playing baseball -- and let's get started. So I've been looking into all different industries and I'm excited for what's up next."
Getz finished up his sports business degree online at the University of Michigan.
"I don't know if I'll necessarily be utilizing that degree, but I'll be looking into a lot of things -- automotive, medical, some sports psychology stuff along with possibly staying in the game in some facet," he said. "But I'm just kind of learning everything I can about everything and taking advantage of the time."
Right now, he's in waiting. His wife Nicky, who last year was a competitor in the TV show "The Amazing Race," was due to deliver their first child on Monday. But baby didn't cooperate.
"I'm on call right now," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.