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Royals vs Rays: Billy Butler Explodes In 11-1 Victory

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Winning is always better than losing – always. Blowout wins like the 11-1 Kansas City Royals (66-64) win over the Tampa Bay Rays (74-55) feel even better, especially when the Royals have struggled to score runs most of the season.

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

It was a very workman like performance from Jeremy Guthrie Monday afternoon. It took him 108 pitches just to get through 5 innings in a sweltering heat. The Rays produced just the 1 run on 6 hits and 3 walks against Guthrie. The Royals’ starter struck out 5 on the day for his team-leading 13th win.

Tim Collins, Louis Coleman, and Aaron Crow combined for 4 scoreless, 1-hit innings and kept the Rays from even thinking about a comeback.

At the Plate

It was a good day. The Royals pounded out 13 hits, 4 of which were of the extra base variety. Billy Butler had a perfect day, going 3-3 with a home run, 3 runs scored, 3 RBI, and 2 walks. Emilio Bonifacio had 3 hits, Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas two, and Salvador Perez just one, but he did have a home run and 4 RBI in the day.

This and That

Since joining the Royals less than 2 weeks ago, Bonifacio has played in 12 games, garnering 47 plate appearances. His slash line has been terrific – .300/.404/.375/.779. In 94 games with Toronto this season, he had 12 stolen bases and 13 walks in  94 games. In his dozen games in Kansas City, he has 8 stolen bases and 7 walks.

David Lough has a WAR of 2.2. Wil Myers, in 20 less games, has a WAR of 1.2. Just saying…

Despite the two wins in a row, Kansas City remains 7 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second wild card berth. Losing 7 in a row and 9 or 11 will just make a very difficult task nearly impossible.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Butler‘s perfect day mad him and easy choice for the POG. Honorable mentions go to Gordon, Bonifacio, and Perez for their contributions.

The Rays

Former Royal farmhand and the controversial piece of the James Shields trade, Wil Myers,  went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts in the Kauffman Stadium debut. Myers is having a very good rookie campaign as he is sporting a .296 average with 9 home runs, and 39 RBI in 56 games.

Up Next

James Shields (8-8, 3.22 ERA) will try to keep the winning streak going, and get over .500 for the first time this season, when the Royals travel to Minnesota tonight. Kevin Correia (8-10, 4.52 ERA) goes for the Twins.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (77-54): The Tigers fell to the Athletics 8-6 home runs by Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Omar Infante. The Tiger bullpen surrendered 4 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks in 4 innings.

Cleveland Indians (71-59): The Tribe was off Monday but start a three-game series in Atlanta today.

Minnesota Twins (57-72): After an off day on Monday, the Twins will host the Royals for 3 starting Tuesday.

Chicago White Sox (54-76): Addison Reed allowed back-to-back home runs to Matt Dominguez and Chris Carter in the 9th inning to lose to the Astros 10-8. Adam Dunn and Jeff Keppinger homered in the loss and Alejandro De Aza had 4 hits.