This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals didn’t have a postseason prayer — until a praying mantis showed up in their dugout. Since then, the defending World Series champions are playing like world beaters.

The Royals were sputtering when a praying mantis appeared in their dugout at Kauffman Stadium on Aug. 6. They beat Toronto that night and suddenly the big bug had a new home.

The team christened it the Rally Mantis and Kansas City went on to win five of six. The new mascot traveled with the club to Minnesota, but died on Aug. 13 — and the Royals lost that day.

Then Junior showed up during a game in Detroit. The Royals swept their first three-game series in Detroit since 2008. Rally Mantis Jr. boarded the charter flight for Kansas City, where the Royals beat the Twins on Thursday night to move back over .500. The surge has moved them back into the AL wild-card race.

The bug’s caretaker, outfielder Billy Burns, says Rally Mantis Jr. is considered a member of the Royals now, and will be traveling with them everywhere.