Royals Recap: Butler, Guthrie, Lough Have Big Night In Big Win

The roller coaster ride that has been the 2013 Kansas City Royals (48-51) season is definitely on an up right now after their 7-1 defeat of the Baltimore Orioles (57-46) Thursday night at the “K”. It was the third straight win for the Royals.

Jul 20, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) breaks his bat on a singe in the first inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Jeremy Guthrie turned in a terrific performance. In 6 innings, he allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. He kept the ball out of the middle of the plate and looked like the Guthrie of April. Three relievers combined to pitch 3 scoreless innings.

At the Plate

Things always look rosier when the Royals score runs. The team amassed 7 runs on 10 hits on the night. David Lough had two big, 2-out, RBI singles in the contest. Jarrod Dyson was 2-3, and Billy Butler went 2-3 with a home run, 2 runs scored, an RBI, and a walk. It was great to see Butler blast one at home. It was his 9th on the season.

The only 2 Royals without hits were Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar.

This and That

I love seeing the Royals play well and win ball games but this hovering just below .500 (maybe that’s what they really are) can be infuriating, especially in the last week of July, right before the trade deadline. The Royals, who have been on the fence about  buying or selling now are most likely leaning toward buying, or more even more likely, standing pat.

The Royals just now made it through a stretch of 20 games when all of their opponents were in either 1st or 2nd place in their respective divisions, except the Yankees who were well over .500, when this stretch began. Most people, including myself, stated the Royals had to win at least 10 of those games to stay in the race. Well, the Royals did just that – they played .500 ball during the toughest portion of the schedule – and lost ground on the leader. They were 5.5 games behind at the beginning; now they are 7 games back. The Royals played relatively well overall during these 20 games except fort the last 5 games going into the All-Star break, when they dropped all five – 2 to the Yankees and 3 costly, costly games to Cleveland.

Things could be worse. The Twins were 6.5 games back at the time and now they are 12 games behind Detroit.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

With two very high honorable mentions for Lough and Guthrie, I am going to give the nod to Butler, mainly for his finding his power stroke. If Kansas City is going make any kind of push toward the top, Butler has to power up much more than he has.

Jul 13, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (11) reacts after giving up consecutive hits against the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles

The 3 straight losses to the Royals have dropped Baltimore to 4 games behind the AL East leader – the Boston Red Sox. The hot Tampa Bay Rays are actually in second now, only a half game behind the Sox.

Six of the Orioles’ 8 hits came off three bats – Matt Weiters, Henry Urrutia, Brian Roberts.

Up Next

The Royals travel to Chi-Town to take on the White Sox. Kansas City cannot afford to let up against the second worst team in the American League. James Shields (4-7, 3.24 ERA) will try to keep the winning streak alive against Hector Santiago (5-2, 3.61 ERA) at 7:10.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (56-45): The Tigers dropped the final game of their series with the White Sox by a 7-4 count. Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez, and Brayan Pena each homered in the loss. Miguel Cabrera sat out again. It was the third straight game Miggy has missed with a hip injury.

Cleveland Indians (53-48): The Indians were off. They host the Texas Rangers for a weekend series.

Minnesota Twins (43-56): The Twins got thumped 8-2 by the Mariners. Kevin Correia never made it out of the 2nd inning after giving up 6 runs.

Chicago White Sox (40-59): Jake Peavy, in maybe his final start for the White Sox, got the victory over the Tigers. He went 7, surrendering 4 runs, 3 home runs, 4 total hits, and 2 walks. He struck out 7. He appears to be a target for teams searching for pitching. Alex Ramirez and Tyler Flowers each had 2 hits, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI.

Topics: Billy Butler, David Lough, Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals

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