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Worth noting

• Entering Sunday's finale with the Red Sox, the Royals' bullpen was leading the American League with a 2.75 ERA, well above the A's 2.99 mark. Since July 3, the Royals are 15-3, and the bullpen has been a big part of their success, allowing just eight earned runs in 57 1/3 innings for a 1.25 ERA.

In the first five games of this 10-game homestand, the Kansas City 'pen allowed just one run and struck out 21 in 18 innings, for a 0.50 ERA. It is also the most rested bullpen in the AL, having worked 318 innings, which is two fewer than the Tigers. A year ago, it had the second-most used bullpen in the Majors.

Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for
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