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Cooper
07-28-2009, 01:28 PM
Five hits too much for Orioles


BALTIMORE -- What a hot night for Billy Butler.

Butler went 5-for-5, drove in three runs and scored two to lead the Royals over the Orioles, 5-3, on a sultry 87-degree Monday night as 15,169 fans melted at Camden Yards.

"I got the pitch I wanted to hit every time tonight," Butler said. "That may not be the case tomorrow. That rarely is the case."

Butler's fourth hit, a double to right-center, opened the seventh inning and led to a 4-3 Royals lead against Orioles reliever Matt Albers. With two outs and Butler at third, Brayan Pena got an infield single to score the tie-breaker.

All 247 pounds of Pena fled to first base with surprising speed after his hopper to third baseman Melvin Mora, and he beat the throw.

"I always try to run hard every time. So when it passed the pitcher and I heard [first-base coach] Rusty [Kuntz] yelling, 'C'mon B! C'mon B!'" Pena said, "I always do what I can to help my team win."

And Butler's fifth hit, a lined single to right field off reliever Danys Baez, drove in Willie Bloomquist with the fifth run in the eighth inning. Bloomquist got an infield single and moved up on an error and a groundout.

This was the first five-hit game of Butler's career, and he boosted his average to .295. He also had a run-scoring single in the first inning, a RBI double in the third and an infield single in the fifth. The Royals' last previous five-hit game was by Mark Teahen on April 17 in a 12-3 win at Texas. In franchise history, the Royals have had 38 games in which a player had five or more hits.

On Monday, Kansas City gathered 14 hits, including two each by Bloomquist, Teahen and Alex Gordon.

"We swung the bats good," Butler said. "I'd say this second half we've swing the bats pretty well. We've had some good at-bats. It may not translate into runs every night, but we've battled."

Royals starter Bruce Chen labored through five innings that were fraught with big jams, but when he left, the score was a 3-3 tie.

"He was hanging by a thread," Royals manager Trey Hillman said.

Adam Jones cracked an 0-2 pitch to center field for a home run in the first inning. In the second and the fifth innings, the Orioles loaded the bases with two outs and came out with one run each time. In the second, Chen plunked Jones with his first pitch to force in a run and then struck out Aubrey Huff. In the fifth, Matt Wieters lined a single for one run, but left fielder Ryan Freel threw out Nolan Reimold at the plate to end the inning.

"I made good pitches at the right time," Chen said. "I was trying to win and keep this team in the ballgame, so I'm very happy with the results."

Meanwhile, Robinson Tejeda was up and down in the Royals' bullpen. He finally took over for Chen to start the sixth and promptly gave up a single to Cesar Izturis. But Izturis was just as promptly thrown out on a laser throw from catcher Pena. And that was the last baserunner the Orioles would have.

Tejeda mowed down eight straight batters to record his first victory of the season. Often all over the place, on Monday, Tejeda threw 25 pitches -- 20 were strikes.

"That's the most strikes I've ever seen him throw," marveled Hillman.

Tejeda credited bullpen sessions with pitching coach Bob McClure with getting him on target.

"I didn't want a strikeout, I just wanted the hitter to hit the ball. I think that was the key, kind of like pitching to contact," Tejeda said.

Tejeda settled for one strikeout and set the stage for closer Joakim Soria. Back after his two-inning success on Saturday night, Soria notched three quick outs for his 16th save. Seems like old times.

"Big for our bullpen, that's got to be a big confidence boost," Butler said. "We know when we've got the lead and we're in the bullpen, we've got to get the ball to Soria. That's what we did tonight."

So now the Royals have won two of three games, if you see your glass as half full, or two of 13 games, if you see your glass as half empty.

They've started their eight-game trip with a victory on a muggy night at Baltimore.

"It was very humid," Butler said. "I was feeling the effects later in the game."

Like the Orioles were feeling the effects of a hot Butler.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cooper
08-12-2009, 09:16 AM
A.L. Player of the week


Billy Butler's hit parade of a week has earned the Royals' first baseman some hardware.

Butler, who posted six straight multi-hit games from Aug. 4-9, was named the American League Player of the Week presented by Bank of America on Monday for the period ending Aug. 9, beating out Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon, Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Red Sox lefty Jon Lester and A's outfielder Rajai Davis.

In seven games, Butler posted AL highs with a .538 (14-for-26) batting average, a .962 slugging percentage, a .563 on-base percentage, five doubles, 25 total bases and 14 hits while also hitting two homers and driving in 10 runs, which tied Seattle's Russell Branyan for the AL lead.

On Aug. 8, Butler, the Royals' first-round selection (14th overall) in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, notched his second three-double performance of the season, making him the fourth Royals player to achieve a pair of three-double games in a season. Butler is now one of only two players to post a pair of three-double games this season, along with Toronto's Adam Lind, and he has reached base safely in 18 of his past 28 plate appearances.

Butler, a 23-year-old native of Florida, is currently batting .302 and leads the Royals with 57 RBIs, a .358 on-base percentage and 124 hits while ranking second in the AL with 36 doubles. This marks Butler's first career weekly award.

Other noteworthy performances for the week included Damon, who led the AL with four home runs, and Mauer, who collected 12 hits and seven RBIs. Also considered were Lester, who posted a 1.38 ERA and notched a Major League-best 17 strikeouts, and Davis, who drove in five runs and stole five bases.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

AlexGordon4
08-13-2009, 11:33 AM
Billy is on fire right now and i love to see that. After he started the year off slow he has picked it up tremendously. Now it would be nice if Gordon could pick it up

mvpgreinke
08-24-2009, 06:00 PM
Next to Greinke Butler is by far my most favorite royals player right now. I wish he could hit for more power. I thinking he is slowly becoming the player we thought he could be. We do have to remember this guy is still really young and has even more upside

Cooper
08-25-2009, 04:17 PM
He should rake next season! He's just maturing, thats all!

Cooper
09-08-2009, 09:28 AM
Butler's two homers help Royals beat Halos


KANSAS CITY -- So here comes Billy Butler, the accidental home run hitter.

Butler smashed two home runs and had four RBIs and generally manhandled the Angels on Monday as the Royals finally defeated them, 6-3, for the first time in 2009. After losing the first nine games this year to Los Angeles, this was the Royals' last chance to avoid a season sweep.

And things definitely looked up after Butler walloped the longest Kauffman Stadium home run of the year in the Royals' fifth inning. It came with Mitch Maier, who led off with a single, on base.

Butler wowed the Labor Day audience of 18,453 with a 442-foot shot. Catching hold of a 2-2 slider from right-hander Ervin Santana, Butler sent the drive soaring high over the left-field bullpen and against the lower glass of the new Royals Hall of Fame.

Heck, he wasn't even trying to do anything like that. His objective is to hit everything to right-center field. With the count 2-2, he just wanted a little line drive or a grounder through a hole.

Home run? Never entered his mind. Butler just got a little ahead of the pitch and pulled it to deepest left field.

"Two-strike approach, I'm not trying to hit that. I'm just trying to put the barrel on the ball and that's what happened," he said.

So it was just an accident?

"Yeah, exactly. I'm just trying to hit a line drive, get something through the infield," Butler said. "At that point, it's a close 2-1 game and I'm just trying to get something going."

Butler even outdid St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols, who on June 21 became the first to reach the Hall of Fame glass with a grand slam. But Pujols' drive was estimated at a mere 423 feet. The stadium record is Bo Jackson's 475-foot blast in 1986 against Seattle's Mike Moore.

Butler also homered in the eighth against reliever Jose Arredondo, a solo drive that was much more modest. It just cleared the left-center-field wall, estimated at 390 feet.

That gave Butler four RBIs. In the sixth, he singled to right field to score Josh Anderson for the Royals' fifth run.

Kansas City starter Kyle Davies worked five innings and the only run he gave up came on Bobby Abreu's home run to right field in the fifth.

He got some good help from his defense. Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt went deep into the hole to rob Juan Rivera. Right fielder Maier threw out Kendry Morales at third for a double play. And Butler pulled off a heads-up play in the first inning. With no outs and runners at the corners, he snagged Abreu's bouncer and threw out Chone Figgins at the plate.

Davies was given a 2-0 lead in the first inning as David DeJesus singled, Santana made an error and Mike Jacobs and Alberto Callaspo hit RBI singles. But Davies had to keep dodging trouble as he walked six to go along with five Angels hits.

His problem was he was in a Superman mode -- throwing faster than a speeding bullet and feeling more powerful than a locomotive.

"I don't think I ever thrown that hard, to be honest with you," Davies said.

So, in his five innings, he not only matched his career high with six walks but served up a whopping 96 pitches.

"I felt like I was throwing the ball really, really, really hard," Davies said. "I thought I got myself in a very good position to throw the ball and I've got to be in a position to command that. ... I felt a little too strong, I think."

Not that he wasn't warned by pitching coach Bob McClure, who has been working with Davies to refine his delivery.

"He told me, 'You're going to feel like you're really powerful,' and I felt like I was extremely powerful today," Davies said. "It's just that that I've got to keep working at it because I'm not used to feeling that."

Clark Kent figured it out.

Anyway, he got his third straight victory and, in those three wins, he's given up just four earned runs in 17 innings (2.12 ERA).

The Angels picked up two runs in the seventh. With two outs, Abreu doubled off Jamey Wright and Vladimir Guerrero walked. Kyle Farnsworth relieved Wright and gave up RBI singles to Torii Hunter and Morales before getting the third out. Even the out wasn't easy -- DeJesus had to run down Rivera's smash at the left-field wall.

Order was restored by Roman Colon in a scoreless eighth.

"He did a great job, had great life to his pitches, attacked the strike zone with no fear and kept the pitches down," Hillman said.

Joakim Soria sizzled in the ninth with three strikeouts, overwhelming a walk, and he notched his 22nd save.

"This is some of the best stuff I've seen and the most efficient that he's been in the past several outings," Hillman said.

Now Butler not only leads the club with a .299 average and 72 RBIs, but has reached the 17-homer plateau.

"He's three home runs away from that number that home run hitters like to throw out," Hillman said. "And [it's] in the modern era of post-enhancement of pharmaceuticals. It's a big ballpark that we play in, too, and he's hit plenty of them here."

For his part, Butler seemed happiest about the Royals finally extracting a victory from the Angels' grip.

"We very easily could've won three out of four," Butler said. "I thought so and the first two games we came up short. And yesterday they put it to us. But we're battling, we're not giving up. I don't know what the perception is, but I want to tell the fans we're not giving up."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cooper
09-29-2009, 04:42 PM
Butler has 51 doubles on the season. He only needs 4 more to break Hal Mcrae's team record of 54