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Royals are first MLB team to clinch division in 2015

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Kansas City captured its first division title in 30 years.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The defending American League champion Kansas City Royals became the first junior circuit team to punch its ticket to the 2015 postseason, clinching the American League West on Thursday night with a 10-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

The Royals own the best record in the AL at 89-63, with 10 games remaining already. They match their win total from 2014, when they took a wild card berth all the way to the World Series, falling in seven games to the San Francisco Giants.

Kansas City is assured of finishing ahead of the second-place Minnesota Twins (78-74), who lost, 6-3, to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

The Royals are the first MLB team to clinch a division in 2015. Two National League teams — the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates — have clinched playoff berths.

The Royals got home runs from Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer in the win, and Lorenzo Cain delivered the go-ahead knock with a two-run single in the sixth inning.

Johnny Cueto allowed three runs in seven innings, with five strikeouts for his third win as a Royal, snapping a five-decision losing streak.

It is the first division title for the Royals since winning the AL West in 1985 on the way to their lone World Series title. This is the seventh division title in franchise history for Kansas City, who will open the American League Division Series against an opponent to be determined on Thursday, Oct. 8.