Royals have goal of finishing over .500

Club wants to have winning record in fourth straight season

Royals have goal of finishing over .500

CLEVELAND -- Their division hopes are gone, and their American League Wild Card dreams are fading fast. So what is driving manager Ned Yost and the Royals during these final games of the 2016 season?

Finishing over .500.

The Royals are gunning to finish over .500 for the fourth straight season, something the franchise hasn't done since 1975-80, when the Royals finished over .500 in six straight seasons.

"That's vitally important in my mind," Yost said. "In the history of the Royals, the organization has only done it [that one other] time. It's really important."

The Royals also could become only the third team in the American League to finish over .500 the last four seasons -- the Indians will be another, and the Yankees could be the third team.

Yost said motivation for his players won't be a problem.

"Our guys, if you take a look of our guys, they're all on the top step, all cheering for each other every game," Yost said. "I don't see any complacency at all.

"It's in their DNA. They play hard. They don't have to have something to play for. It's embedded in them."

With that in mind, Yost doesn't plan to shut any players down for the season, though it's highly likely Lorenzo Cain (sprained hand) won't play again.

Catcher Salvador Perez, whose workload has been a concern in the past, will continue to get regular playing time.

"Is there any detriment to playing him this time of year?" Yost said. "We're trying to win. Why would you want to sit him? Walk in there and ask him if he'd be willing to sit five games."

Yost also said he will continue to use closer Wade Davis down the stretch. Davis has battled forearm issues in the past two months.

"I just need a save situation to put him in," Yost said.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.