KANSAS CITY, Mo. – 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 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 RBI, three runs and two walks.
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.
The Royals padded their lead with two more runs in the seventh behind Alex Rios and Alcides Escobar RBIs.
Holland out for postseason
Royals closer Greg Holland has a right elbow ligament tear that will end his season and likely require surgery. Manager Ned Yost said Wade Davis would close for the rest of the season.