The Kansas City Royals booked their first Major League Baseball playoff berth in almost three decades with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
With the win, the Royals assured themselves of at least an American League wild-card spot — their first post-season appearance since they won the World Series in 1985.
Nori Aoki, Lorenzo Cain and Billy Butler each drove in a run in a three-run first inning, and that proved to be all the offense the Royals needed.
Starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie tossed seven scoreless innings, limiting the White Sox to four hits and one walk with six strikeouts.
Not only are the Royals assured of playing at least the one-game, wild-card round, they are just one game behind the Detroit Tigers in the race for the American League Central division crown, after their victory coupled with the Tigers’ 11-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
In Detroit, Brian Dozier went 3-for-5 at the plate with a home run, three runs-batted-in and three runs scored to help Minnesota to the win.
Danny Santana also collected three hits and scored twice, Oswaldo Arcia homered and Kurt Suzuki drove in two runs for the Twins.
The Tigers could have clinched their fourth consecutive AL Central title with a victory and a loss by the Royals, but now the race will come down to the final two games for each team this weekend.
If they finish tied in the standings, the Royals and Tigers would contest a one-game playoff on Monday for the division crown.