Friday, September 25, 2015

Mike Moustakas 3-for-3 with HR as Royals Clinch AL Central; Cardinals Streak at 5 as Stephen Piscotty Stars

Players of the Day for Thursday, September 24, 2015

American League

Kansas City became the first team to clinch a division title, wrapping up the AL Central with a 10-4 victory over the visiting Seattle Mariners.

Moustakas: 3-3, HR, 3RBI
With their win and the second-place Twins losing to Cleveland, 6-3, Kansas City is 11 games up in the division with just 10 left to play.

Mike Moustakas, who reached base on all five of his plate appearances, broke a 1-1 tie in the second inning with his 21st home run of the season, a solo shot to right field. Moustakas walked in the third, doubled in the fifth, walked and scored in the seventh, and singled in a pair of runs in the eighth, scoring the Royals' final run on a triple by Alex Rios.

The powerful third baseman finished 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBI, raising his season total to 76 and his batting average to a robust .282.

Kansas City currently has the best record in the league at 89-63. Toronto is next, with a 87-65 mark. The team with the best record would have home field through the divisional and championship rounds and would also face the wild card in the first round of the playoffs.
Productive Rookie Piscotty

Winners of their last two, the Royals open a three-game series with Cleveland at Kauffman Stadium, in Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday.

National League

St. Louis extended its late-season winning streak to five straight with a 7-3 win over visiting division rival Milwaukee Thursday night.

The Cardinals continue to remain four games up on the Pirates, winners of six straight with a 5-4 win over the Rockies. A team with the utmost in balance, St. Louis keeps finding new heroes every night. In their latest victory, Stephen Piscotty, a part-time rookie who has played in 58 games this season, took the spotlight by going 3-for-4 and driving in the final four runs for the Cardinals with his 6th home run and a pair of RBI singles.

After Jhonny Peralta tied the game at 3-all with a three-run homer in the fourth, Piscotty unknotted it with a solo shot into the left field seats, then proceeded to drive in a pair of runs in the fifth and one more in the seventh. Piscatory has, in his short time in the big leagues, distinguished himself with 37 RBI and a .313 batting average with 14 doubles and four triples. He was promoted from AAA Memphis earlier this season and is also an excellent fielder at a variety of positions. He played both first base and left field in Thursday's contest.

St. Louis needs a combination of six wins or six losses by Pittsburgh to clinch the division title. Both teams have nine games remaining in the regular season and will meet this coming Monday for a three-game series in Pittsburgh with will likely determine the division crown.

The Cardinals play game two of their four-game set with the Brewers Friday night at Busch Stadium. Game time is 8:15 pm EDT.

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