The Kansas City Royals (finally) have a new single-season home run king. On Wednesday, Mike Moustakas blasted his 37th homer of the year to break a tie with Steve Balboni, who set the mark in 1985.
It took longer than anyone expected, but Mike Moustakas now has the record for most home runs in a single season in Kansas City Royals history. The powerful third baseman launched his 37th homer of the campaign in a resounding 15-5 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
The blast—a solo shot in the sixth inning—ended an almost-three-week tie between Moustakas and Steve Balboni. The man affectionately known as Bye Bye Balboni hit 36 home runs during the Kansas City Royals’ World Series-winning 1985 season.
Balboni had a message for Moustakas after the former No. 2 overall pick hit his first home run since Sept. 1. Here it is, via the Kansas City Royals official Twitter page:
Prior to his Wednesday home run, Moustakas had appeared in 14 games since going deep against Minnesota to open the month. It’s been over a month since the Moose hit his 35th home run of the season. And it was beginning to look as though he might finish the season tied with Balboni atop the Kansas City Royals home run chart.
Then, this happened (again via the official Royals Twitter account):
It was actually one of two records broken in the game.
With the game out of reach, the Kansas City Royals allowed a few of younger players to get some at-bats. That allowed a record number of players to collect hits in the game. In total, 13 different Royals reached on a base-hit.
Here’s confirmation of the record (for a third time, from the Royals’ account):
Moustakas finished the game 3 for 4 with a single, double and the record-breaking home run. Cheslor Cuthbert replaced him later in the game and helped set the aforementioned record with a single.
Ironically, it was the second consecutive night the Kansas City Royals set a home run record north of the border. On Tuesday, Alex Gordon hit the 5,694th home run among major leaguers in the eighth inning. The dinger set the record for most home runs in a season in MLB history.
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A breakdown of Moustakas’ home runs finds that he hit seven in April, six in May, eight in June, nine in July, five in August and two in September. The Kansas City Royals are 24-10 in games Moose has gone deep. (Even more remarkably, his batting average is 116 points higher—.330 vs. .214—in wins.) He has three two-homer games—one each in June, July and August.
Of the 37 home runs, 26 have been solo shots, six have been two-run shots and five have been three-run shots. Moustakas has six home runs against the White Sox, five against the Twins and four against the Mariners. Only 14 of his homers have come at Kauffman Stadium.
This could easily be the final season Moustakas plays for the Kansas City Royals. If that’s the case, he will leave as the single-season home run king. Not a bad crowning achievement to go with his All-Star Game appearances and numerous postseason highlights.
Will Moustakas stay at 37 or make a run at 40? Let us know in the comments and on social media.