The Kansas City Royals clinched the American League Central division title after beating the Mariners 10-4 at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday night. It’s the team’s first division title since they won the American League West in 1985. Of course, that year, they would later go on to win the World Series, as well, after beating the Blue Jays and Cardinals in the playoffs in a pair of seven-game series. It remains the only title in franchise history.
Thursday night’s winner was Johnny Cueto, who pitched seven strong innings to improve to a record of 3-6 since coming over from the Reds in a trade prior to the deadline. Cueto, who has been known in the past to give a little shimmy in the middle of his wind-up, brought the move back again on Thursday, but seemed to have added a few more shakes to his repertoire.
Let’s count ’em. That’s one, two, three, four, FIVE! Five shakes before he got Nelson Cruz to swing and miss on a full count.
With the win, the Royals increased their lead over idle Toronto to two games in order to clinch the best overall record in the American League, which would ensure them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Both teams have 10 games remaining on their schedule.