Esky, Royals proud of his 1,000th career hit

Shortstop reaches milestone in 6th inning of Friday's loss to Indians

Esky, Royals proud of his 1,000th career hit

CLEVELAND -- In the sixth inning of the Royals' 6-1 loss to the Indians on Friday night, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar singled to center field off Danny Salazar. After reaching first base, Escobar raised his hand, motioning for the ball from second baseman Jason Kipnis, who tossed it over to the Royals' dugout.

The hit was the 1,000th of Escobar's career. And just like Escobar, the Royals understood the significance. Catcher Salvador Perez caught the ball from Kipnis off a few bounces and handed it over to a member of the Royals staff to hold.

"It's a great accomplishment," Royals left fielder Alex Gordon said. "We were all pretty proud of him when it happened."

Escobar was retired on a fielder's choice one batter later, but as he returned to the dugout, the mood was far from bleak. He was congratulated by his teammates, several of whom had spent years playing alongside him in Kansas City. After all, out of the 1,000 hits, 841 of them came as a member of the Royals.

"I was thinking about that when he got it," manager Ned Yost said. "I've had the opportunity to see the majority of them ... 1,000 hits, that's a pretty special accomplishment."

Escobar had to wait a bit on the final hit. After recording No. 999, it took him 10 more at-bats to finally break through. Escobar said it was something that was on his mind coming into Friday's game, even though he tried to avoid putting pressure on himself.

But once he got the hit, none of that mattered. Escobar said he felt that he had finally reached the milestone as he felt the ball come off the bat, adding he was excited to get the ball back later.

"When I hit the ball, I thought, 'That's a base hit," Escobar said. "I [was] so happy for that."

Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.