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Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Girardi not surprised by Royals' hot start


Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not surprised that the Kansas City Royals are off to such a good start this season -- 18-16, in second place in the American League Central, 4 1/2 games behind the even more surprising Cleveland Indians.

"No I'm not [surprised]. They're much more aggressive than they used to be, with all the stolen bases and the things that they're doing," Girardi said before Tuesday's series opener in the Bronx. "They have a bullpen that we haven't seen a lot of, when you look at all the new faces that they added. ... They're pitching, they're playing well, they're running."

The Royas have already stolen 42 bases this season, which leads the major leagues. Eleven different players have swiped at least one -- Mike Aviles and Jarrod Dyson lead the team with eight apiece.

"Melky [Cabrera] is having a good start, [Jeff] Francoeur is playing extremely well, Alex Gordon as well. So they're getting a lot of production out of their outfield," Girardi said.

Gordon is batting .309 with three homers and 23 RBIs; Francoeur, the former Met, is batting .302 with eight homers and 24 RBIs; and Cabrera, the former Yankee, is batting .283 with three homers and 21 RBIs.