Nine-year veteran Alex Rios has never taken part in the playoffs and is relishing his role on a first-place team. "This whole season has been something that I've never experienced," Rios said. "I've never experienced this, and every day when you come to the field, it means something. It means that you have to come and do something good to try to win games." He's been doing plenty to make sure Chicago reaches the postseason. After a 3-for-4 game on Wednesday, Rios is hitting .301 with an .854 OPS, 24 home runs, 87 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. He also is tied for first in the Majors in lead-changing home runs and has collected eight in the sixth inning or later, including his shot in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 3-2 win. Royals: Gordon closing in on club record
Left fielder Alex Gordon went 2-for-3 and smacked his Major League-best 49th double on Wednesday. That brought him within five of Hal McRae's club record, set in 1977, and within two of Billy Butler's second-place mark of 51 from 2009. Gordon, a Gold Glove winner last year, also has collected 13 outfield assists, helping the Royals to first place in the Majors with 44. Jeff Francoeur leads the way with 18 for Kansas City, which racked up 51 outfield assists last season. The Royals plan to have Jake Odorizzi, their top pitching prospect, make his Major League debut on Sunday afternoon against the Indians at Kauffman Stadium. Worth noting
Liriano has a 5.51 ERA against the Royals in three starts this season, two of which came while he was with the Twins.