Sep 24, 2015 11:59 PM
Royals clinch AL Central by beating Mariners 10-4
The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Royals clinched the AL Central for their first division title in 30 years, beating the Seattle Mariners 10-4 Thursday night.
Johnny Cueto picked up his first victory in nearly six weeks, and the win, coupled with the Minnesota Twins' 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians, ensured a title. The Royals have dominated the division, leading by as many as 14 games.
It's the Royals' first division title since 1985, when they won the AL West en route to their only World Series championship.
The Kauffman Stadium announced crowd of 32,244 cheered when the Twins' final score was shown on the scoreboard in the top of the ninth.
Kansas City became the first team to wrap up a division title this year. St. Louis and Pittsburgh have secured playoff berths in the NL.
Cueto (3-6), who was acquired in a July 26 trade with Cincinnati, allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings while striking out five and walking two. He was 0-5 in his previous six starts since an Aug. 15 victory.
Mike Moustakas went 3 for 3 with a home run, three RBIs, three runs and walked twice.
Lorenzo Cain's two-run two-out sixth-inning single broke a 3-3 tie. Cain's ground-ball single to left scored Alex Gordon, who had walked, and Ben Zobrist.
Moustakas led off the second with his 21st homer, which is a career high. He drove in two more runs with a single in the eighth.
Eric Hosmer hit a solo shot to center in the fifth to tie the score at 3.
The Mariners used seven pitchers, with Logan Kensing (1-1) taking the loss.
The Royals padded their lead with two more runs in the seventh behind Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar RBIs.
Mark Trumbo hit a two-run double in the fourth for the Mariners. Brad Miller doubled home Trumbo in the second for the Mariners' first run.
Logan Morrison led off the Mariners' ninth with his 17th home run.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton left after 33 pitches and nine batters with a broken fingernail.
Royals: RHP Greg Holland has a torn right elbow ligament and will see Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles next week. Surgery appears probable depending on the second opinion.
Mariners: LHP Vidal Nuno, who was acquired in a June 3 trade with Arizona, will make his eighth start Friday at the Angels.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez, who starts the series opener against the Indians, is 8-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 15 Kauffman Stadium starts.