Shohei Ohtani, the favorite for American League MVP, is the first player who also pitches ever nominated as a finalist for the Hank Aaron Award, which is given to the best offensive player in each league.
October isn't in the cards, but there's still plenty of work to do. Here's what each non-playoff team needs to ask itself first.
— Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco hit homers and the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 7-3 Sunday in their final game of the season.
— Griffin Jax and a trio of relievers combined on a three-hitter and the Minnesota Twins blanked Salvador Perez and the Kansas City Royals 4-0 Saturday night.
— Salvador Perez went hitless on a night when every other Royals starter had at least one hit, and Kansas City beat the Minnesota Twins 11-6 Friday.
Who is rising and falling with the end of the season mere days away?
— Shane Bieber pitched three effective innings, Bradley Zimmer drove in three runs and the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 6-1 Thursday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
— Salvador Perez tied a Royals record with his 48th homer of the season before leaving with a sprained right ankle, and Kansas City went on to beat the Cleveland Indians 10-5 on Wednesday night.
Royals star Salvador Perez hit his team-record-tying 48th home run in the first inning, then exited after the second due to a sprained right ankle Wednesday night.
Center fielder Michael A. Taylor, considered one of the best defensive players currently in baseball, has reached a 2-year, $9 million extension with the Royals, sources told ESPN.
Yes, there's still a month of playoff baseball before the offseason begins. But we couldn't wait to look ahead at one of the deepest classes in years.
— Salvador Perez hit his major league-leading 47th home run and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Cleveland Indians 6-4 Tuesday night.
— As they've done in countless ninth innings over decades, fans in Progressive Field stood to cheer during the final three outs.
— Kris Bubic kept up his mastery of the Tigers, pitching seven shutout innings and leading the Kansas City Royals over Detroit 2-1 on Sunday.
— Miguel Cabrera drove in four runs, including a go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth inning, and the Detroit Tigers downed the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Saturday night.
— Carlos Hernandez pitched five shutout innings and Whit Merrifield drove in a pair of runs as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 3-1 on Friday night.
Who is rising and falling as the end of the season rapidly approaches?
Which up-and-comers have jumped onto Kiley McDaniel's radar in 2021?
— Yu Chang hit a bases-loaded triple off left fielder Andrew Benintendi’s glove in the first inning, leading Cal Quantrill and the Cleveland Indians to a 4-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
— Salvador Perez hit his 46th home run, breaking Johnny Bench’s record for most by a catcher in a season to highlight the opener, then the Kansas City Royals completed a doubleheader sweep by beating the Cleveland Indians 4-2 Monday night.
Salvador Perez hit his 46th home run Monday to break Johnny Bench's record for most homers by a catcher in one season.
— Salvador Perez hit his 46th home run, breaking Johnny Bench’s record for homers by a catcher in a season, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 Monday in the first game of a doubleheader.
— Rookie Jarred Kelenic homered, doubled twice and wrapped up his impressive series, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Sunday.
— Kris Bubic allowed two hits over 6 1/3 innings in his best start this season, and the Kansas City Royals beat Seattle 8-1 Saturday night to put another dent in the Mariners’ slim playoff chances.
— Seattle rookie Jarred Kelenic spoiled the major league debut of pitcher Jonathan Heasley by hitting a pair of two-run homers that sent the Mariners over the Kansas City Royals 6-2 Friday night.