KANSAS CITY -- When Royals reliever Jeremy Jeffress fanned Cleveland's Brent Lillibridge in the eighth inning of Sunday's game, he gave the pitching staff quite the distinction.
It was the 1,154th strikeout of the season by the Royals' staff, a new club record. The 2009 Royals held the previous mark with 1,153 K's.
"Cool," said reliever Aaron Crow, who's contributed 65 punchouts to the club's season total.
The Royals' bullpen has been a main contributor to the record. The relief corps has been on a strikeout kick all season, and their collective total of 526 led all American League bullpens entering play on Monday.
"With Tim [Collins] and Greg [Holland], and Kelvin [Herrera] and [Louis] Coleman, those guys can strike out guys with the best of them," Crow said. "They've done a good job, but at the end of the day if you get a ground ball or a popup or a strikeout, it's the same thing. You just try to get guys out, and strikeouts mean you're dominant and have good stuff."
The Royals fanned two more Indians after Jeffress' momentous strikeout, and the total stood at 1,156 heading into Monday's series opener with Detroit.
Injuries may keep Moustakas, Hosmer out
KANSAS CITY - Third baseman Mike Moustakas' season is apparently over because of a sore left groin.
Moustakas aggravated a previous injury in the sixth inning of Monday night's 6-3 loss to the Tigers.
"Moose is done," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "When he slid into second base, he re-aggravated his groin so with two games left, that's probably going to be it for him."
Moustakas was pulled out of Sunday's game at Cleveland because of the injury. Although hurt in the sixth inning on Monday night, he didn't leave the game until the ninth.
That apparently leaves the Royals without the starters at both corners of the infield, because first baseman Eric Hosmer also is likely to miss the final two games against the Tigers. He's been out since Thursday with a slight tear or moderate strain in his right rotator cuff sustained at Detroit. Hosmer was re-examined on Monday.
"I saw the doctor and he pretty much confirmed the strain and stuff," he said. "He likes how it's rehabbing but the strength is still not 100 percent there. So he's saying it's just a matter of day to day and just try to get it as strong as possible."
Shortstop Alcides Escobar sustained a bruised right shoulder on Thursday and missed all three weekend games at Cleveland. He also was re-examined after returning to Kansas City and played Monday night.
Escobar must be OK. He singled in his first at-bat and made a spectacular fielding play with a long throw to first base in the fourth inning.
Gordon, Royals racking up outfield assists
KANSAS CITY -- Running on the Royals' outfield arms is a dangerous decision.
Kansas City racked up its 51st outfield assist of the season in Monday night's series opener against Detroit, as left fielder Alex Gordon threw out Andy Dirks, who was attempting to advance from first to third on an Avisail Garcia single in the fifth inning.
No. 51 in this campaign matched the mark set last year by the Royals' outfielders. They need two more to match the franchise record set in 1969.
The Royals lead all Major League teams in outfield assists. Entering play Monday, the next closest team was Oakland with 37.
Gordon's fifth-inning assist was his 18th of the year, and he trails Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur by just one. Francoeur's 19 lead the Majors. Gordon was baseball's assists leader among outfielders in 2011 with a club-record 20.
If Francoeur finishes as the league leader, the Royals will become the first team since the 1909-10 Red Sox to have two different players lead the league in outfield assists in back-to-back seasons.
Royals reliever Collins earns Mondor Award
KANSAS CITY -- What does diminutive Royals reliever Tim Collins have in common with the home-run mashing likes of Jeff Bagwell, Mo Vaughn and Carlos Pena?
Collins joined the sluggers as recipients of the Ben Mondor Award, which honors the New England player of the year. Collins, a native of Worcester, Mass., will be presented with the award at the Boston Chapter of the BBWAA's annual dinner on Jan. 24, 2013.
Entering Monday, Collins produced a 5-4 record and a 3.38 ERA in 71 relief appearances this season. His 93 strikeouts are the most by a left-handed reliever in club history.
The award has been presented since 1979 to players from New England and was recently named in honor of Ben Mondor, the former owner and chairman of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
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.