A Royals run requires urgency

Moments like this one have been rare for this year's Royals. Brian Kersey/Getty Images

As recently as two weeks ago, the Detroit Tigers appeared to be in control of the AL Central, with a winning percentage over .600 in a division in which no other team seemed to pose a serious threat. At the same time, the Kansas City Royals had the stench of a team dead in the water. Sitting in last place, the Royals had taken until May to -- as a team -- hit more home runs than either Jose Abreu or Albert Pujols.

A lot has happened in two weeks.

After scoring seven runs off Justin Verlander last night and extending their current winning streak to eight games, the Royals stand only a half game behind Detroit in the standings, with the chance to take the lead Tuesday night. But even as they have crawled back into to the playoff race, Kansas City's hardest work is still ahead of them.