Billy Butler came through with another late two-run home run to put the Royals on top in a 7-5 victory over Cleveland, their fifth win in a row. The Royals offense was able to overcome a rough start for Jeremy Guthrie, the fourth straight start in which Guthrie has struggled in the early innings. Carlos Santana led off the second with a home run to get the Indians on the board, and the Indians would put five on the board before the inning was over. Such a deficit may have seemed insurmountable with the Royals offense struggling like it has this season, but....MOMENTUM!
The Royals got on the board by chipping away in the third with an RBI ground out by Omar Infante. But the lineup exploded in the fourth off Indians starter Zach McAllister. With two outs and two on, Alcides Escobar came up with a clutch RBI single. Nori Aoki followed that up with a huge two-run triple, then scored himself after a passed ball by Yan Gomes to tie the game at 5-5.
In the fifth, Salvador Perez led off with a single to chase McAllister out of the game. Indians skipper Terry Francona elected to go with lefty Nick Hagadone to retire Mike Moustakas, but he left him in to face Billy Butler. Big mistake.
Butler unleased his fifth home run of the season, a two-run blast to give the Royals the lead for good. Billy would end with two hits, and whether its Ned Yost's benching of him, or moving down in the lineup to motivate him, or its just Billy being Billy, its working.
Jeremy Guthrie settled down after his eventful second inning and gave the Royals 5 2/3 innings of work, without allowing another run. Scott Downs made things interesting in the seventh by allowing the first two hitters to get on base, but Kelvin Herrera quickly slammed the door shut. Wade Davis was also able to pitch around a couple of baserunners in the eighth, and Greg Holland shut things down to tie for his 27th save.
The Yankees lose, and everyone else wins, so here are your Wild Card standings:
|New York Yankees||54||49||.524||---|
|Toronto Blue Jays||55||50||.524||---|
|Kansas City Royals||53||50||.515||1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||51||53||.490||3.5|