Royals vs. Rays Preview: This Team is on Fire

USA TODAY Sports

If the Royals were a player on NBA Jam, their shoes would be lit up. Alicia Keys is singing songs about the Royals now. Frankenstein is terrified of the Royals. Why? Because they're on fire.

The Royals have re-captured the hearts and minds of Kansas City after a lackluster May with a sensational stretch in June that included a six-game winning streak. The 3-2 win over Detroit on Monday set a TV ratings record for Fox Sports Kansas City, and was the most watched show on TV that night in Kansas City (beating "The Voice"! Chris Getz trumps Christina Aguilera!) And this is for a team that still has a losing record. Just imagine if we get over .500 and start really contending.

The Royals are now 9-3. Does this have a chance to be the most successful month of Royals baseball in the Dayton Moore era? Let's take a look back at some hot months during "The Process."

By my count, Dayton Moore has been General Manager of the Royals for 47 full months of baseball. In those 47 months, the Royals have had a winning record in a month just 11 times (not a single month in 2010 was a winning month!). But save your criticism you instant gratification fiends!

The five best months of the Process:

April 2013 - 14-10 (.583)

Fueled by strong pitching, the Royals jumped out to one of their best starts in franchise history this year. They won six of seven in one stretch, and five out of six in another. They gave up six runs or more in just four contests and were 8-2 when they scored four or more runs. They ended the month in second place, just a half game out of first.

June 2008 - 16-11 (.592)

The Royals jumped out to a decent 9-6 start, but a seven game losing streak in April and a twelve game losing streak in May would make them 22-34 heading into June. The club lost a tough 1-0 game in ten innings in Arizona in which Yasuhika Yabuta would give up a walk-off home run after the Royals had enjoyed seven innings of shutout ball from Zack Greinke. But the loss would spur a stretch where the Royals would win eleven of twelve games, all against National League clubs. The stretch would include sweeps of the Cardinals and Rockies and would include a wild 11-10 win against the Giants and Tim Lincecum.

September 2011 - 15-10 (.600)

The club limped into September with a 56-81 record, but got some unexpected good pitching in September and finished with 71 wins. Luke Hochevar won two of his three starts with a 2.18 ERA before the team shut him down to limit his inninsg. A career minor leaguer by the name of Luis Mendoza was called up to make two starts and posted a 1.23 in his two wins. The team also got a .913 OPS in 21 games out of a rookie called up from Omaha - Salvador Perez.

August 2012 - 17-11 (.607)

The Royals were just 42-60 heading into August, but dominated their Central Division opponents in August. They began the month with a sweep of the Indians, took five of six from the division-leading White Sox in a home-and-home series, then swept the Tigers to end the month. Newly acquired pitcher Jeremy Guthrie would go 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA in six starts that month.

September 2008 18-8 (.692)

The Royals entered September 57-79, just 5.5 games back of Washington for the chance to get the first overall pick in the draft, a pick that would become stud San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Finally, all this sucking would finally pay off!

But the Royals, in Royals fashion, would sweep the Athletics, then later reel off a seven game winning streak that included a four-game sweep of the Mariners. They swept the Tigers and took two of three from the in the last week fo the year, forcing those two teams to play each other in a one-game playoff for the Central Division title. Kyle Davies rattled off four wins that month with a 2.27 ERA. When the dust had settled, the Royals had won 75 games and would have to settle for the twelfth overall pick (which they used on Aaron Crow).

The Royals are 9-3, and would only have to 10-5 the rest of the month to eclipse that mark. Can the George Brett effect propel them to their most successful month ever?

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