Mike Moustakas ties franchise season home run record

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 01: Mike Moustakas
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 01: Mike Moustakas /
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Mike Moustakas homered on Friday night in Minnesota. It was his 36th of the year, tying him with Steve Balboni for the most by a Kansas City Royals player in a single season.

The Kansas City Royals should have a new home run leader for a single season in franchise history at the end of this year. They could have one by Saturday night.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas clubbed his 36th home run of the season in the third inning of Friday night’s game in Minnesota. His blast put the Kansas City Royals ahead 5-2 in a game they went on to win by a 7-6 margin.

Moustakas had been in a home run slump since notching his 35th on Aug. 15 in Oakland. Friday’s three-run shot ended a 12-game homerless streak for Moustakas, although he has been hampered by a leg injury for part of that span.

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The home run, which came off Twins starter Dillon Gee, was Moustakas’ only hit in four at-bats, but he made it count. A smash down the line, the ball just cleared the high fence in right at Target Field.

Not to discount his first 35 homers, but Moustakas’ 36th might have been his most important of the season. Friday’s game was massive for the Kansas City Royals’ postseason hopes. The win pulled the team within 3.5 games of the Twins for the American League’s second Wild Card spot.

It also helped them keep pace with several other teams in the playoff chase. Four of the five teams smashed between the Royals and Twins won. The Orioles, Rays, Rangers and Mariners were all victorious. Only the Angels lost, and they did so to the Rangers.

About Time

Barring injury, Moustakas will undoubtedly set the single-season mark at some point this month. It will end an incredible nearly 32-year run of Steve Balboni holding the record. Balboni hit his 36 home runs during the 1985 season.

That year the Kansas City Royals went on to win their first World Series title. Balboni, ironically, didn’t hit a single home run during the postseason that year. In fact, he never had a postseason homer in any of his 69 career playoff plate appearances.

On Friday, Moustakas broke a tie with Gary Gaetti (1995) for the second-most homers in a single-season. It’s amazing that in the span Balboni held the record only eight Kansas City Royals players hit even as many as 30 homers in a season. (George Brett hit 30 in the 1985 season—the only time the franchise has ever had two players reach the mark in the same season.)

Danny Tartabull remains the only Kansas City Royals player to ever hit at least 30 homers in two separate seasons (1987 and 1991).

Next: Why the Royals Will Make the Playoffs

So Kansas City Royals fans, when do you think Mike Moustakas will break the franchise’s single-season home run record? Let us know in the comments and on social media.

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