Jun 21, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (7) celebrates with left fielder Andrew Benintendi (16) and center fielder Kyle Isbel (28) after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The return of a franchise icon, the debut of a diligent reliever who took a unique path to the big leagues and ongoing contributions from the team's rookie hitters provided important moments aplenty for the Kansas City Royals in 2022. Here are our top 10, listed in reverse rank order.

10. Singer takes no-hitter into fifth inning, Royals snap Dodgers' 12-game win streak (Aug. 14)

The Royals struggled in the first two games of their August series with the dominant Los Angeles Dodgers, who were already 45 games above .500 by the time they arrived in Kansas City. But thanks to the heroics of Brady Singer and Vinnie Pasquantino, they were able to salvage the final game of the series and snap the Dodgers' 12-game winning streak. Singer had one of the most impressive starts of his major league career, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finishing with just one hit allowed over six scoreless frames. Pasquantino carried Kansas City's offense, going 3 for 4 while driving in Nicky Lopez with a third-inning single and hitting a solo homer in the eighth. Salvador Perez and Kyle Isbel also had RBIs in the 4-0 victory.

9. Former FedEx driver Jose Cuas throws a perfect inning in his major league debut (May 31)

Right-hander Jose Cuas had plenty of opportunities to quit. He could've called it a career when he failed as an infielder in the Brewers organization and was converted to the mound. He could've chosen a different path when Milwaukee released him in 2018 and he had to pitch in independent ball to keep his dream alive. He could've given up when the Diamondbacks, who signed him midway through 2019, released him during the pandemic in 2020. Instead, he took a job as a FedEx driver to make ends meet and trained late at night with his brother in a New York City park to stay in pitching shape. After another stint in independent ball at the beginning of 2021, Cuas earned a minor league contract with the Royals, and after years of waiting, he finally made his major league debut in Cleveland on May 31. The sidearming righty retired all three hitters he faced and touched 95 mph in his first big league outing, providing a bright spot in the Royals' 8-3 loss to the Guardians.

Cuas went on to post a 3.58 ERA over 47 appearances in 2022, and after the season he won the Tony Conigliaro Award, an annual honor presented by the Boston Red Sox to a major leaguer "who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Tony C."

8. Waters hits tiebreaking blast in 10th, Royals hang on for victory over Guardians (Oct. 3)

The Royals entered the top of the 10th inning locked in a 2-2 tie with the Guardians, but rookie outfielder Drew Waters — who put them on the board in the first place with an RBI single in the second — gave Kansas City the lead with a three-run blast to left field. Taylor Clarke threw a scoreless bottom of the 10th to finish off a 5-2 Royals victory. Zack Greinke put together a quality start, allowing two runs (one earned) over six innings, and the bullpen combined for four scoreless frames as the Royals earned their final win of 2022.

7. Royals hire Matt Quatraro as manager (Oct. 30)

Mike Matheny's three-season run as Royals manager came to an end following the regular-season finale on Oct. 5. General manager J.J. Picollo, who took over as head of Kansas City's baseball operations department in late September, quickly found his new skipper, hiring Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro on Oct. 30. This will be the 49-year-old Quatraro's first major league managerial job after stints as a player, coach, manager and hitting coordinator in the Rays' minor league system, as an assistant hitting coach in Cleveland, and as a third base coach and bench coach on Tampa Bay's major league staff. Quatraro, who will be the 18th full-time manager in franchise history, is expected to bring an increased emphasis on analytics to the Royals' dugout and will have a chance to lead an exciting young core that showed signs of promise in 2022.

6. Zack Greinke returns to Royals after 11-year absence (March 16)

Things didn't end on the best of terms during Greinke's first stint in Kansas City, but the 2009 AL Cy Young winner and potential future Hall of Famer was welcomed back with open arms when he decided to return to the Royals on a one-year deal in March. Greinke, who established himself as one of the best pitchers in franchise history while spending his first seven seasons in Kansas City and winning 60 games with a 3.82 ERA, got off to a strong start in his second stint with the Royals, allowing one run over 5.2 innings on Opening Day as Kansas City beat the Guardians 3-1. Though the six-time All-Star spent a couple of stints on the injured list, he had a solid 2022 season, posting a 3.68 ERA over 26 starts.

5. Missing 10 players in Toronto, Royals beat Blue Jays 3-1 (July 14)

For most of the 2022 season, Canadian travel rules prevented non-citizens who were unvaccinated against COVID-19 from traveling freely between the United States and Canada. Those restrictions kept 10 Royals players from participating in the team's four-game series in Toronto, and a flurry of minor leaguers were called up to face the Blue Jays. Despite their extremely inexperienced lineup — Lopez, Edward Olivares and Ryan O'Hearn were the only non-rookies in the lineup that night — the Royals put together a gutsy effort and beat the Jays in the series opener. Angel Zerpa, making his second major league start and first of the season, out-dueled Toronto starter Kevin Gausman, allowing just one earned run over five innings. Bobby Witt Jr. took Gausman deep in the fifth and Nate Eaton homered in the ninth inning of his MLB debut as Kansas City prevailed 3-1.

4. Melendez hits leadoff homer, Pratto hits walk-off blast as Royals beat Red Sox (Aug. 6)

The Royals received home runs from left-handed-hitting rookies in their first and last at-bats of an Aug. 6 victory over the Red Sox, with MJ Melendez hitting a leadoff blast in the bottom of the first and Nick Pratto homering to deep center field to break a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth. Rookies were responsible for all the Royals' runs in the win over Boston, as Isbel also went deep and Witt Jr. hit a two-run single.

3. Witt Jr. goes 3 for 5 with two homers, Royals beat Angels 12-11 in 11 innings (June 21)

Witt Jr. led one of the Royals' most impressive offensive performances of the season on June 21 in Anaheim, going 3 for 5 with a double, two homers and four RBIs. His second homer, a two-run shot off Jimmy Herget in the top of the ninth, extended Kansas City's lead to 10-7. But Shohei Ohtani hit a three-run homer off Scott Barlow with one out in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to extras. After both teams were held without a hit in the 10th inning, the Royals retook the lead in the 11th as Whit Merrifield drove in automatic runner Nicky Lopez with a leadoff double and Isbel's RBI single brought Merrifield home. Daniel Mengden, the Royals' ninth pitcher of the night, gave up a run in the bottom of the inning but held on for the save as Kansas City won 12-11.

2. Witt Jr. clinches a 20-20 season in Royals' win over Tigers (Sept. 3)

Witt Jr. hit a tiebreaking three-run blast in the third inning of the Royals' Sept. 3 win over the Tigers, clinching a 20-homer, 20-steal season with a month yet to play. He became the fifth rookie in major league history and the fifth Royals player ever to accomplish the feat as Kansas City trounced Detroit 12-2. Witt, who finished his rookie season with 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases, was one of four Royals rookies to homer in the winning effort, joining Pratto, Isbel and Melendez as Kansas City became the first major league team since at least 1906 to have four rookies go deep in the same game.

1: Royals rally from 11-2 deficit, score 11 runs in sixth inning en route to incredible comeback victory over Mariners (Sept. 25)

The Royals wrapped up their 2022 home slate with their best win of the season. Right-hander Max Castillo was called up to make the start, and though he was mostly effective through the first four innings, he came undone in the fifth. After entering the inning with a 2-1 lead, Castillo allowed five straight runners to reach base without recording an out, and Seattle led 3-2 by the time Amir Garrett replaced him. While Garrett promptly induced a fly ball to center field for the first out of the inning, he then hit Jesse Winker, walked Dylan Moore and allowed a pair of singles to Sam Haggerty and Ty France. While Garrett mixed in a strikeout in between base hits, he wasn't able to get out of the inning and was replaced by Cuas, who gave up an RBI single before finally recording the third out. The Mariners finished with eight runs in the fifth, and after they tacked on two more runs in the sixth and extended the lead to 11-2, it appeared as if they'd be able to coast to victory.

The Royals had other plans. Pasquantino struck out to begin the bottom of the sixth, but then the magic began. All-Star starter Luis Castillo, Seattle's prized trade deadline acquisition, walked Olivares, gave up a two-run homer to Michael Massey and issued a free pass to O'Hearn before being replaced by Matthew Festa. The reliever walked Hunter Dozier, gave up a single to Waters and induced a groundout from Melendez. A run scored on the play, but that seemed small in the grand scheme of things, as Seattle still led 11-5.

Matt Brash then replaced Festa and gave up a two-run double to Witt, back-to-back walks to Perez and Pasquantino, and an RBI single to Olivares. Seattle manager Scott Servais then made his third pitching change of the inning, bringing in righty Erik Swanson. The usually dominant reliever was unable to stop the bleeding, surrendering a two-run base hit to Massey and a two-run double to O'Hearn that tied the game. Dozier broke the tie with an RBI single, though the inning came to an end as he was thrown out at second base. The Royals finished with 11 runs in the sixth — the second highest-scoring frame in franchise history.

Seattle scored another run in the seventh, but Dylan Coleman and Scott Barlow kept them off the board in the final two innings as the Royals held on for an incredible 13-12 victory.