Archive for Sunday, August 31, 2008

Butler leads K.C. to ‘big night’

August 31, 2008


— Billy Butler supplied the pop Kansas City was sorely missing, and the rest of the Royals woke up, too.

Butler drove in four runs in his first career multi-homer game and the Kansas City Royals had 17 hits in a 13-3 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

Butler hit a solo homer in the second and added a three-run shot off starter Kenny Rogers during the Royals' four-run sixth.

"It was a big night," said the designated hitter, who extended his hitting streak to six game with a 3-for-5 night. "We needed to put up some runs. We've got the offensive power to do it and we showed it tonight."

The 13 runs were 10 more than the Royals hit during the four-game skid and the their three home runs marked the first time they've hit more than one in a game since an Aug. 3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Mark Teahen added a solo home run and an RBI double and Mike Aviles had a two-run double to help starter Brandon Duckworth (2-0) beat Detroit for the second time in six days.

Rogers (9-12) surrendered six runs in six innings and lost for the second time in as many starts.

Duckworth, who gave up all three runs and struck out four in six innings, beat the Tigers on Aug. 24, the day he was called up from triple-A Omaha. That was his first major league win as a starter in more than two years.

He was even happier with his second win of the season.

"I was pleased," he said. "I thought it could be better and it was. I had command of all my pitches."

Relievers Leo Nunez, Jeff Fulchino and Joakim Soria each pitched a scoreless inning for Kansas City, which scored more runs in one game than the 10 it scored during the losing streak.

Butler knotted the score with a solo shot to left in the second and Teahan tied the game again with a homer in the fifth.

David DeJesus had an RBI single early in the sixth and Butler gave Duckworth some breathing room when he sent Rogers' 2-0 pitch to almost the same spot he homered in the second. The home runs - his eighth and ninth of the season - topped the seven he hit in 92 games last year as a rookie.

Rogers said tightness in his back and leg limited his effectiveness as the game went on. Manager Jim Leyland blamed himself for not removing the left-hander earlier.

"If I had made one move we might have won the game," he said. "We just couldn't stop the bleeding."

Tigers reliever Nate Robertson surrendered six runs in less than two innings of work, including Teahen's RBI double in Kansas City's five-run eighth. Aviles knocked in the inning's final two runs with a double off Casey Fossum.

Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco and Matt Joyce all scored runs for the Tigers after hitting leadoff triples.

"I don't believe I've ever seen that before," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said.

It seemed for a moment in the ninth inning that a replay review might be used on a ball Polanco hit just outside the left-field foul pole, but it didn't happen. The umpires affirmed the original ruling after a brief discussion.

Major League Baseball began using replays to settle disputed home run and fair-ball calls on Thursday, but no calls have been changed since its introduction.

"You can't ask an umpire to use replay," Leyland said. "I went out to question it. (Third base umpire Tom) Hallion said he was positive it was foul but would check with the home plate umpire.

"I thought that was very fair."


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