Royals on pace to break club mark for homers

Yost expects power to pick up even more as Hosmer, Gordon's bats come around

Royals on pace to break club mark for homers

NEW YORK -- All during Spring Training, Royals manager Ned Yost marveled at the potential power his lineup might have in 2017.

And that power part of the Royals' offense is humming. The Royals slugged another home run Monday, courtesy of rookie outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, in a 4-2 loss to the Yankees.

The Royals now have hit 48 home runs, putting them on pace for 177 this season. That would shatter the club record of 168 set in 1987.

That 1987 Royals team was led by Danny Tartabull's 34 home runs. Steve Balboni, who holds the club record for dingers in a season with 36 in '85, hit 24 in '87. Bo Jackson and George Brett hit 22 each.

This year's Royals team is led by Salvador Perez's 11 home runs. Mike Moustakas has 10, and Brandon Moss has eight.

Perez's two-run homer

"We're starting to get some guys heating up, too," Yost said. "Hoz [Eric Hosmer] is coming around. Mossy is hitting."

There should be more power on the way, too. Alex Gordon, who hit 17 home runs last season, has yet to hit one in 2017. Lorenzo Cain and Jorge Soler each have hit just one.

Bonifacio's five home runs have been an unexpected addition. And he was still beaming after hitting a home run off Michael Pineda in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium.

"It's a lot of fun to get that first home run at Yankee Stadium. … I feel like I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now," Bonifacio said, smiling.

But all that Royals power hasn't translated to a better offense yet. The Royals still are last in the American League in runs scored with 147.

"The only stat that matters is wins and losses," Yost said. "I don't care about the other numbers."

There is one statistic that has Yost's attention, though: On this road trip, the Royals are 1-for-30 with runners in scoring position.

"We have had opportunities," Yost said. "We just have to find a way to get guys home."

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