CLEVELAND – After celebrating with handshakes and high-fives, the Royals walked off the field as dozens of blue-clad Kansas City backers lined the rows behind their dugout.
Fans held up signs and screamed player's names.
Downtrodden for so many years, these Royals are being treated like rock stars.
Eric Hosmer drove in four runs, Kendrys Morales added three RBI and the Royals opened a 10-game trip with a 9-4 victory over the spiraling Cleveland Indians on Monday night.
Hosmer connected for a three-run homer in the first off rookie Cody Anderson as the Royals improved to 15-5 in their last 20 games.
"This is a fun team," manager Ned Yost said. "We do a lot of things well. It's a nice, loose atmosphere. We're playing really good baseball."
At 60-38, the Royals have equaled the best start in franchise history through 98 games. They had the same record in 1976 and 1980.
"Kansas City is playing consistent baseball, that's why they're in first place," Indians center fielder Michael Bourn said. "They pitch. They hit. They run. They're aggressive."
Edinson Volquez (10-5) worked into the seventh inning for Kansas City, which will welcome Johnny Cueto on Tuesday. Cueto came over in a trade with Cincinnati.
"He's already got a picture on his phone with his Kansas City uniform on," said Volquez, who played with Cueto in Cincinnati.