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Royals deploy the strikeout, destroy Cleveland

Now 2.5 games back in the Wild Card.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals showed no mercy against the Indians on Monday night. James Shields, Wade Davis, Luke Hochevar and Tim Collins combined to whiff 17 Indians.

The 17 strikeouts is a franchise record for a nine inning game. It ties the franchise record for most whiffs in a game. The Royals also struck out 17 in a game in a 17 inning contest in 1986 and another 17 inning game in 1970.

What a time for a pitching performance like this.

The Royals drew first blood on a Billy Butler first inning single. They held a 2-1 lead when they broke the game open with back to back triples to lead off the sixth inning. Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain with the three-base honors.

From there, it was academic. The Indians couldn't get their offense on track against the Royals arms and Kansas City continued to tack on runs until they reached the final tally of 7-1.

Just a huge game as they now push for the sweep. While this game was happening, Wil Myers led the Rays to victory in Tampa over the Rangers. The movement in the Wild Card race continues to be slow and steady, but this was a must win for this team. And win they did.

-- Perez added a run-scoring single and a walk, along with two runs scored.

-- Jamey Carroll saw three pitches in two plate appearances. Wheeeee!!!!

-- Crow's appearance was his first since September 5.

-- Mike Moustakas came off the bench and drove home his 40th run of the season. Not a fan of the RBI as a stat, but that number is insanely low and serves to illustrate how awful he's been at the plate this season.

-- Current Wild Card standings:

Tampa Bay 82 67 .547 +1.0
Texas 81 68 .547 ----
Cleveland 81 69 .544 -0.5
Baltimore 79 70 .530 -2.0
New York 79 71 .527 -2.5
Kansas City 79 71 .527 -2.5