Wade Davis went from grieving to celebrating a victory.
Davis came off the family emergency leave list and pitched six solid innings, Billy Butler homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Miami Marlins 6-2 on Monday night.
The Royals won for the 17th time in 20 games and moved past Cleveland and into second place in the AL Central, while the Marlins are 1-8 in their past nine.
Davis had not pitched since Aug. 2, returning to Florida to be with his family after the death of his stepbrother on Aug. 3.
“The organization has been great,” Davis said. “We’re like a family in here. It’s good to have support.”
Davis could not put into words his emotions for taking the mound against the Marlins.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Davis said. “I just felt like I was out there, not really (more) emotional than that. It was good to get out and compete a little bit and get back with the team and help the team try to win.”
Davis (6-9) allowed two runs and six hits while striking out three and walking two.
“I felt OK,” he said. “I got a little tired towards the end with the layoff, but overall pretty good.”
Davis is 2-0 in his past three starts and won for the first time at Kauffman Stadium since April 10.
“Wade threw the ball great,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He got us through six innings. He gave up two in the sixth. The worst pitch he made was to (Greg) Dobbs. He just kind of pulled a two-seamer that came back over the middle of the plate. I was real impressed the way he threw the ball.”
Marlins starter Tom Koehler (3-8) held the Royals hitless until two out in the fourth, when they pieced together four straight hits. Justin Maxwell’s triple scored Mike Moustakas, who had an infield single for the first hit. Chris Getz’s single up the middle brought home Maxwell.
“It just looked like he was pitching behind,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He had a tough time getting ahead. They didn’t hit him hard but they made the most of their hits.
“It seems like that’s the way we’re going and we’re not scoring enough runs to cover up any mistakes. We don’t have the offense to cover up any mistakes and right now we’re making too many mistakes.”
Getz, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson, the bottom third of the Royals’ order, combined for six hits, a walk, three runs, three stolen bases and three RBIs. Getz went 3 for 4 in his first game off the disabled list.
Escobar, Dyson and David Lough stroked run-producing hits in a three-run sixth as the Royals snapped a 2-all tie.
In the top of the inning, Logan Morrison and Dobbs punched RBI doubles off Davis.
Butler homered to lead off the seventh against Ryan Webb to extend his hitting streak to six games. He is hitting .438 with six extra-base hits on the homestand.
“I got into a good hitter’s count and didn’t miss it,” Butler said. “I’ve been in hitter’s count before and didn’t have those results. It’s good to get one.
“The first half was definitely a grind for me. I was kind of hit or miss. I was doing my same stuff, but wasn’t getting the results. I’ve been feeling good ever since the second half started. I’m just taking confidence from each day and letting it build. I’ve always been better in the second half throughout my career.”
The Marlins loaded the bases in the fourth and seventh innings, but failed to score. Adeiny Hechavarria grounded out to end the fourth, while Ed Lucas flied out to left to end the seventh.
“We’re just not getting that big hit,” Lucas said. “It’s been the story of the last few months. We had a pretty good pitching performance. We just couldn’t get the hits when it counted. We’ve got to do a better job with runners in scoring position, myself especially.”
Moustakas left in the fifth with a strained left calf and will be examined further Tuesday. Newly acquired Jamey Carroll hit for him and remained in to play third.
Notes: LF Alex Gordon was not in the Royals’ lineup. His wife, Jamie, gave birth to a son, Sam Patrick. Gordon is not going on the paternity leave list and will likely play Tuesday. . Morrison, who was born in Kansas City and went to nearby Maple Woods Juco, played his first game at Kauffman Stadium. He said he left about 60 tickets for family and friends. .The Royals made four more roster moves Monday, bringing their total to 14 since Saturday. Getz was activated from the disabled list and Carroll, who was acquired in a Sunday trade with Minnesota, arrived and put on the roster. The Royals optioned INF Irving Falu and LHP Will Smith to Triple-A Omaha.