Royals 6, Red Sox 4

Billy Butler isn’t the fastest guy on the base paths by any

stretch, so the chances of him hitting into a double play are

pretty good if he puts the ball on the ground.

Maybe that’s why he was so keen on popping a pitch over the

outfield wall instead.

The lumbering designated hitter’s three-run shot in the eighth

inning Tuesday night boosted the Kansas City Royals a 6-4 victory

over the Red Sox, putting them in position to finish a seven-game

homestand against Boston and the New York Yankees with a winning


”The way things have been going, we haven’t been coming back in

games. Hopefully that gets us going,” Butler said. ”Hopefully we

can feed off that.”

Chris Getz and Humberto Quintero also drove in runs for the

Royals, who overcame another lousy performance by their starting

pitcher to pick up a confidence-boosting win.

Daniel Bard (2-4) walked Jarrod Dyson and Alex Gordon to start

the eighth before giving way to reliever Matt Albers. His third

pitch to Butler was right in his wheelhouse, and Butler sent it

soaring into the fountains beyond the left-field wall.

It was his sixth homer of the year.

”It was huge,” Royals manager Ned Yost said afterward.

Kelvin Herrera and Jose Mijares (2-1) had kept Kansas City in

the game after Danny Duffy lasted just 4 1-3 innings. Jonathan

Broxton worked the ninth for his sixth save.

”It was my worst outing of the year,” Duffy said. ”My

teammates had my back the whole time and Billy hit that bomb, I was

the happiest guy in the world.”

Dustin Pedroia had two RBIs and Kelly Shoppach also drove in a

run as Boston lost for the sixth time in seven games, two of those

defeats coming in extra innings.

Bard ended up with a memorable line: He gave up five runs on six

hits and four walks, while also throwing a wild pitch and getting

called for two balks during the same at-bat.

”It was really weird,” he said. ”I can’t remember the last

time I balked in my life, ever. I don’t think I’ve done it in the

big leagues.”

Boston rookie Will Middlebrooks followed up his two-homer,

five-RBI game in the series opener with a double in the second

inning, joining Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter as the only players

since at least 1920 to record an extra-base hit in each of their

first five major league games.

Marlon Byrd and Shoppach added back-to-back two-out singles to

drive in Middlebrooks, who felt tightness in his left hamstring and

left the game between half innings. Duffy proceeded to walk Mike

Aviles and Pedroia to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.

Kansas City answered with three runs in the bottom half of the

second inning.

Eric Hosmer singled and Jeff Francoeur drew a walk before Mike

Moustakas grounded out to second base, hustling down the line to

avoid the double play. That’s when Bard was hit with his first

balk, which allowed Hosmer to score and sent Moustakas to second


Bard argued vehemently with plate umpire Tim Tschida to no


The young right-hander really got riled up when he stepped off

the rubber and tried to chase Moustakas back to second base. Bard

was hit with another balk, allowing Moustakas to reach third, and

the mistake proved critical when Getz’s single tied the game.

”They probably get one or two either way,” Bard said. ”I just

tried to settle back in. I knew I was still making good pitches. I

wasn’t going to let that take me out of my game completely.”

Quintero’s two-out base hit gave Kansas City the lead, but the

plodding catcher – with one career stolen base – ended the inning

when he was thrown out trying to swipe second.

Duffy could have used some more support the way he was


Pedroia knotted the game in the fourth with a single, and the

Red Sox pulled ahead in the fifth thanks to more erratic pitching

and some lousy Kansas City defense.

Adrian Gonzalez doubled and Nick Punto walked with one out, and

Duffy was yanked for reliever Kelvin Herrera. He got Ryan Sweeney

to ground into what should have been an inning-ending double play,

but Getz threw wide of Hosmer at first base, allowing Gonzalez to


The Red Sox remained in front until Butler’s game-changing


”I’m just going to let Big Bill do what Big Bill does,” Yost

said, ”hit one in the gap – and he did a little more than


Notes: Boston 3B Kevin Youkilis (lower-back strain) exercised

before the game. He’s eligible to come off the DL on Monday, though

manager Bobby Valentine isn’t sure if that will happen. CF Jacoby

Ellsbury (dislocated right shoulder) also worked out. ”This is the

beginning of the next step in his program,” Valentine said. …

The Royals recalled RHP Vin Mazzaro from Triple-A Omaha and

optioned LHP Tommy Hottovy to the same club. … LHP Jon Lester

(1-2, 4.62 ERA) starts the series finale on Wednesday for Boston.

LHP Bruce Chen (0-4, 4.98)) takes the mound for Kansas City.