Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike “Moose” Moustakas broke the Royals’ single season home run record last night in a 15-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. The record-breaking home run came in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas’ home run was his 37th of the season, one more than Steve Balboni hit in the 1985 season en route to the Royals’ first World Series championship.
This year, Moustakas seemed certain to break the record. He had 25 home runs at the All-Star Break, already a personal best and earning him a spot in the Home Run Derby. At the time, he was on pace for 47 home runs.
Moustakas hit the record-tying 36th home run on Sept. 1 and has been in a slump ever since. In the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game, Moustakas pulled a Carlos Ramirez pitch into the right field bullpen on a 2-0 count.
The new record will cement Moustakas’ legacy in Kansas City, as this is likely his last season with the Royals. If he does sign elsewhere in his free agency, he will go down as one of the greatest power hitters in Royals history.
If Moustakas can manage four more home runs this season, the Royals will no longer have the lowest franchise home run record in the MLB. The Mets’ record of 41 home runs in a season, set by Todd Hundley in 1996 and tied by Carlos Beltran in 2006, would be the new lowest.
Moustakas was a former number two overall pick by the Royals in 2007, and he made his debut on the team in June 2011. He has made two appearances in the annual MLB All-Star Game, one in 2015 and one this season. He was also a part of the 2015 World Series championship team.
Moustakas went three for four, adding a single and a double to his home run. He scored two runs. Moustakas was replaced by Cheslor Cuthburt in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The record-breaker came the day after left fielder Alex Gordon hit the home run that broke the league-wide season home run record of 5,693.
The Royals sit at 74-77 this season and are third place in the American League Central.