Billy Butler’s pinch-hit Bomb propels Kansas City Royals to Win


Billy Butler slammed a 472-foot pinch hit home run to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium Friday night.

Benched in favor of Raul Ibanez, Butler entered the game in the 8th inning with the score tied at 4-4, Salvador Perez at first base, and two-outs. Cleveland manager Terry Francona waited for Butler to be announced before summoning righty John Axford to pitch to the right-handed Butler.

Then Butler launched a 1-0 high fastball high into the left-field seats. Billy’s bomb was estimated at 472 feet—a truly majestic blast from a guy with only 4 home runs this season.

Aaron Crow came in to record the save in the 9th, because Greg Holland was unavailable after pitching 3 straight days. The save was the 4th of Crow’s career, and his 2nd this season.

The win puts Kansas City at 4-4 after the All-Star break. The Royals are now back to 2 games over .500 at 52-50. Kansas City pulled within 6 games of Detroit in the American League Central and remain in sole possession of 2nd place.

On the Mound

Yordano Ventura pitched 6.1 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs (3 earned) with 7 strikeouts. All 3 Cleveland earned runs came on 2 home runs by Carlos Santana.

Francisley Bueno entered the game in the 7th inning, after Ventura started the inning by allowing a runner to reach first on an error, a walk, and then a sacrifice bunt advance the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Bueno managed to get Jason Kipnis to hit a shallow pop-fly to right, but Lorenzo Cain and Omar Infante were confused about who should take the ball, leading Cain to lunge for a late diving catch. The misplay allowed Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes to score from 3rd because Cain’s dive left him in no position to throw home.

Jason Frasor recorded the final out of the 7th.

Kelvin Herrera came on in the 8th to pitch a scoreless inning despite allowing a walk. Herrera earned the win after Billy Butler’s bomb put the Royals up 6-4 in the bottom of the 8th.

Aaron Crow recorded his 2nd save in the 9th, despite allowing a leadoff double to Yan Gomes.

At the Plate

The Royals scored 6 runs on only 10 hits and 1 walk. Kansas City did, however, hit 3 home runs and a triple. Amazing what power can do.

Salvador Perez got the party started with a home run to left in the 2nd inning. Perez went 3-4, with a home run (12), 2 singles, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI.

Mike Moustakas followed Perez’s bomb with his 13th home run. Moose went 1-4 on the night.

Raul Ibanez drove in Alex Gordon with a triple in the 4th and scored on 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis’ throwing error. Ibanez went 2-2 with a single, triple, 1 walk, 1 run scored and 1 RBI.

Billy Butler finished off he scoring with his pinch-hit home run (4).

This and That

For the 2nd straight night, a Cleveland throwing error allowed a Royals hitter to circle the bases.

Raul Ibanez became the oldest Royal to ever hit a triple with his drive in the 4th inning. Ibanez is 42 years old.

Cleveland tied the game on unusually sloppy defense from the Royals in the 7th. First, Mike Moustakas’ high throw on Yan Gomes’ grounder to 3rd put the leadoff hitter at first. Then, after a walk and sacrifice bunt, Omar Infante and Lorenzo Cain’s confusion about who should take Kipnis’ pop fly allowed Yan Gomes to tag up and score.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Our award goes to Billy Butler for his game-changing 2-run homer with a nod to Sal Perez for his 3-hit game. Butler’s blast came from nowhere, and caused the big Kauffman Stadium weekend crowd to erupt in cheers. Butler produced what he’s been missing all year: real power.

More from Kansas City Royals

The Indians

Carlos Santana kept the Tribe in the game almost by himself. He smacked home runs in the 4th and 6th innings to drive in 3 runs for the Indians. On the day, Santana went 2-3, with 2 home runs (17), 1 walk, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBIs.

Up Next

The Royals will play their 3rd game of a 4-game set with the Indians on Saturday. Kansas City will send Jeremy Guthrie (5-9, 4.56 ERA) to the mound against Zach McAllister (3-5, 5.28 ERA). Game time is 6:10 PM CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.


Jason Kipnis 2B4001015.247.327.350.677
Chris Dickerson LF3000013.324.419.514.932
   Ryan Raburn PH-LF1000001.
Michael Brantley CF4110014.315.375.501.877
Carlos Santana 1B3223104.222.360.420.781
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B4000014.313.382.480.861
Nick Swisher DH4000024.205.279.338.616
Yan Gomes C4110014.273.318.457.775
David Murphy RF4030004.249.310.363.672
Jose Ramirez SS2000104.
Team Totals334742737.212.250.424.674

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

2B: Y Gomes (17, off A Crow).
HR: C Santana 2 (17, 2 off Y Ventura, 4th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to Deep CF-RF; 6th inn, 1 on, 1 out to Deep RF).
SF: J Kipnis (2, off F Bueno).
SH: J Ramirez (2, off Y Ventura).
TB: C Santana 8; D Murphy 3; Y Gomes 2; M Brantley.
RBI: C Santana 3 (45); J Kipnis (31).
2-out RBI: C Santana.
Team LOB: 6.
With RISP: 0 for 7.
DP: 1. C Santana-J Ramirez-J Tomlin.
E: J Kipnis (4).
SB: C Santana (3, 2nd base off K Herrera/S Perez).

Lorenzo Cain RF4010024.294.331.409.7402315
Omar Infante 2B4000014.267.307.371.6782313
Alex Gordon LF4110004.276.357.423.7801610
Salvador Perez C4231004.285.326.434.760129
Mike Moustakas 3B4111024.200.264.400.6642012
Raul Ibanez 1B2121103.
   Billy Butler PH1112001.266.320.353.67421
   Eric Hosmer 1B0000000.271.317.383.701
Nori Aoki DH4000004.258.327.315.6431511
Alcides Escobar SS3010003.275.312.375.68788
Jarrod Dyson CF2000013.280.337.339.676106
Team Totals3261051634.312.333.656.99014292

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

B: R Ibanez (3, off J Tomlin).
HR: S Perez (12, off J Tomlin, 2nd inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep LF); M Moustakas (13, off J Tomlin, 2nd inn, 0 on, 0 outs to Deep RF); B Butler (4, off J Axford, 8th inn, 1 on, 2 outs to Deep LF).
SH: J Dyson (5, off C Carrasco).
TB: S Perez 6; R Ibanez 4; M Moustakas 4; B Butler 4; A Gordon; L Cain; A Escobar.
GIDP: N Aoki (4).
RBI: B Butler 2 (38); R Ibanez (25); S Perez (38); M Moustakas (40).
2-out RBI: B Butler 2; R Ibanez.
Team LOB: 4.
With RISP: 0 for 3.
E: M Moustakas (8).

Josh Tomlin 5.17430524.478656
Kyle Crockett 0.20001101.722113
Carlos Carrasco, L (3-4) 1.12110003.622618
Nick Hagadone 0.10000002.8431
John Axford 0.11110013.4364
Team Totals 8 10651635.6214292

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

Yordano Ventura 6.16431723.6310169
Francisley Bueno, BS (1) 0.10000002.1143
Jason Frasor 0.10000003.1922
Kelvin Herrera, W (2-2) 1 0001001.88179
Aaron Crow, S (2) 1 1000002.491611
Team Totals 9 7432723.0014094

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

Balks: None.
WP: None.
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.