Last year they needed the wild card play-in game to kick their way into a postseason run that ended one short of a World Series triumph. This year the Kansas City Royals won’t have to worry about that kind of tension. Not after they thrashed their way into clinching the American League Central Thursday night.
Not after they got the biggest game of Johnny Cueto’s tenure since his arrival in a non-waiver trade deadline deal. Cueto couldn’t have picked a better time to win his first start in six weeks. So it wasn’t exactly pretty with three runs and seven hits against five punchouts and two passes, but nobody said it had to be pretty to win, either.