MLB: Royals clinch first division title for 30 years
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 25, 2015 03:23 PM
Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer, right, and Mike Moustakas celebrate after the Royals' baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals won 10-4 and clinched the AL Central. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — Kansas City clinched the American League Central for its first division title in 30 years by beating Seattle 10-4 on Thursday.
The Royals moved 11 games clear atop the division with 10 games to play and became the first team in the AL to secure its place in the playoffs.
In the AL East, the New York Yankees edged within three games of idle Toronto by defeating the Chicago White Sox in the Yankees' first home game since the death of former great Yogi Berra.
In the National League, the three division leaders all won to take strides toward clinching titles: St. Louis defeated Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Dodgers downed Arizona and the New York Mets won at Cincinnati.
Kansas City pitcher Johnny Cueto (3-6) picked up his first victory in nearly six weeks, and the win, coupled with Minnesota's loss to Cleveland, ensured the title.
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 but which takes the NL Central and which takes only a wild card is still to be decided.
New York's Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer and that proved enough to give the Yankees a 3-2 win against the White Sox.
After a tribute before their first home game since Berra died, the Yankees cut the magic number — their wins combined with the loss of their closest rival — to six for clinching at least a wild-card slot.
Beltran connected in the third inning off Chicago ace Chris Sale (12-11), who fell to 0-4 in his past six starts.
St. Louis' Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Piscotty hit back-to-back homers and combined for seven RBIs to power the Cardinals past Milwaukee 7-3.
St. Louis has won five straight and holds a four-game lead over Pittsburgh for the NL Central lead.
The Cardinals trailed 3-0 in the fourth when Peralta hit a three-run homer to center field, and Piscotty followed two pitches later with a homer to left-center.
Los Angeles' Chris Heisey hit a grand slam in a six-run fifth inning to lift the Dodgers over Arizona 6-3.
Los Angeles increased its division lead to eight games over San Francisco with 10 to play.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (15-7) had nine strikeouts while yielding six hits over five innings. He left trailing 3-0, but ended up with his fifth win in six starts when the Dodgers rallied.
Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning to push the Pirates to a 5-4 win against Colorado; their 10,000th win since joining the National League.
A day after clinching a playoff spot for the third straight season, the Pirates reached another momentous milestone thanks to Alvarez's shot off Jairo Diaz (0-1).
Starling Marte collected four singles and finished with 13 across the four-game sweep. It's the most hits in a four-game series for a Pirates player since 1928.
Baltimore's Jonathan Schoop and Matt Wieters hit two-run homers in the Orioles' 5-4 win against local rival Washington, completing a three-game sweep.
Baltimore is four games off the second AL wild-card spot, while Washington dropped 7-1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Mets.
Cleveland boosted its slim playoff chances with a 6-3 win at Minnesota, with Jason Kipnis hitting a leadoff homer and Carlos Santana connecting for a three-run shot.
San Diego's Alexi Amarista drove in the winning run with a single in the ninth inning to lift the Padres past San Francisco 5-4.
The Mets closed in on their first playoff appearance in nine years by winning 6-4 at Cincinnati, with Daniel Murphy producing three hits, including a tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning.
Texas completed a three-game road sweep at Oakland, as Cole Hamels pitched six innings to earn his fifth consecutive win as the Rangers won 8-1.
Tampa Bay's Erasmo Ramirez pitched seven solid innings to steer the Rays past Boston 4-2.
Miami's J.T. Realmuto hit a triple in the seventh inning to bring in the game's only run as the Marlins beat Philadelphia 1-0.