KC Royals: Can players hit key marks in final series?

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Nicky Lopez
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

The long season that began with an Opening Day win, found the KC Royals in first place in May, was derailed by 11 and eight-game losing streaks, and will conclude with the most Royal wins since 2017, winds up this weekend when Kansas City hosts Minnesota for 2021’s final three games.

As a team, the Royals will be out to avoid finishing last in the American League Central. At 73-86, they’re two games ahead of the last-place Twins.

And depending on the outcomes of the Friday and Saturday night games, and Sunday afternoon’s season finale, the Royals will end the year with 73, 74, 75, or 76 wins.

For individual Kansas City players, though, much is at stake. Rookies are working hard to leave good impressions on the club’s brass, others had disappointing campaigns and want to finish strong, and some seek to put good final caps on impressive season-long performances.

Records and milestones are within reach for some members of the KC Royals.

All eyes this weekend will be on several Kansas City players with chances to set records or establish good personal marks.

First and foremost among those players is, of course, Salvador Perez. Playing on the ankle he sprained in the dugout Wednesday, Perez went homerless Thursday night, meaning he has three games left to break the club’s individual home run record of 48. His 48 are also the majors’ best by two (Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has 46).

American League MVP candidate Perez’s big league RBI lead (121) looks secure. He has eight more than Chicago’s Jose Abreu.

Nicky Lopez, his bat all but dead when KC sent him to the minors on season’s eve, is on the cusp of hitting .300. He went 1-for-4 against Cleveland Thursday and heads into tonight’s series opener at .301.

Perez and Lopez aren’t the only KC Royals chasing important marks.