Kansas City Royals Clinch American League Central Title


62. 10. 7. Final. 4

Thirty years. It had been thirty years since the Kansas City Royals had last won a division title. Yes, the Royals had been to the World Series, but they still had not won their division since the days of George Brett, Frank White and Bret Saberhagen. Four teams, all of which had made the postseason before the Royals made their return last year, did not exist. In fact, the American League Central did not exist when last the Royals were kings of their division. But tonight, that changed, as the Royals defeated the Seattle Mariners 10-4.

It was not easy for the Royals in the early going. After a two run double by Mark Trumbo, the Royals were down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth. But then, as the Minnesota Twins were losing, the Royals found themselves once again, blending their frenzied offense of last year with the team we had come to know over the first four months of the season.

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Johnny Cueto settled in, pitching seven strong innings as he allowed those three runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out five. As the ace that the Kansas City Royals felt they needed to be able to win the World Series, it was fitting that Cueto was on the mound tonight. His struggles mirrored the Royals difficulties over the past month, and having him start what proved to be the clinching game was somewhat serendipitous.

Mike Moustakas displayed his maturation as a hitter, finishing a triple short of the cycle as he went 3-3 with two walks, three runs scored and three RBI. Alex Rios, who had potentially been in danger of not making the postseason roster, was 3-5 with a triple and two RBI. Eric Hosmer and Moustakas both hit home runs. The Royals offense came back to life.

Now, step one of the Kansas City Royals 2015 checklist is taken care of. The American League Central has been won. Now, it is time to get ready for the postseason, and defend the American League title.

Next: Wade Davis: The New Beast of the Bullpen