Royals proud of run, despite being eliminated

With stars becoming free agents, future is uncertain for club

Royals proud of run, despite being eliminated

KANSAS CITY -- Word began to trickle inside the Royals clubhouse on Tuesday night, moments after they beat Detroit, 2-1, that the Twins also had won, thus eliminating the Royals from postseason contention.

But the mood remained upbeat as the players preferred to discuss their accomplishments, which included two World Series appearances and a World Series title in 2015, rather than this season's shortcoming.

"Most definitely [it has been special]," center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "My six years here have been amazing. A lot of fun times. A lot of ups and downs.

"Getting to two World Series … is amazing. These guys are amazing."

The reality is perhaps setting in, too, that several of the Royals who are pending free agents may not be around next season in Kansas City. The list includes Cain, Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas and Jason Vargas.

Hosmer's RBI double

"Extremely special time here," Hosmer said. "I think the biggest thing is we had some injuries and guys were banged up, but guys were coming in and doing whatever they can to go play. Guys were roughed up but they realized we were a better team with them in the lineup. To see your teammates grind and put themselves in the lineup, you can't ask for more.

"We fell short. We're not going where we want to go, but it's not from lack of effort. We did all we can do. We were in it at the break, and we tried to get some pieces to help us out. Really no regrets. Everyone that works for this organization put this team in the best possible position to win and that's all you can ask for."

Vargas, who threw six strong innings in Tuesday's win, seemed perhaps the most emotional in talking about his four years with the Royals.

Vargas' strong outing at home

"It's been unbelievable," Vargas said. "I don't want to get too much into it. I got one more start left. I'd like to think about it after that. But the ride's been unbelievable. I've experienced things here that I've never experienced in my life before, made better friends here than I've ever made. I'm just looking forward to getting to put the uniform on one more time."

Royals manager Ned Yost, though, remained stoic and said he preferred not to reflect on this group until after the season.

"No. Not really," Yost said. "We'll do that at the end of the year. We've still got games to play. I'm not going to sit here and reflect right now."

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.