Butler didn't do it? Controversial HR call helps Royals top YankeesAug 18, 2011 - 4:46 AM
Butler's controversial round-tripper capped a four-run third inning, helping the Royals to a 5-4 win over the New York Yankees. Alex Gordon clubbed a three-run shot earlier in the frame, as Kansas City avoided a sweep.
Joakim Soria labored through a 40-pitch ninth inning and gave up a run. Jorge Posada, who was celebrating his 40th birthday, batted with the bases full and struck out looking to end the game.
"I think at times he's under the ball a little bit," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Soria. "He got his pitch count up. He's got that pitch when he needs to and he did there against Posada. As long as he gets the save, I'm happy."
The Royals broke a four-game slide and won for just the second time in their last 10 games, thanks in part to the apparent umpiring gaffe.
Mike Moustakas doubled high off the wall in right and Alcides Escobar singled. Gordon then homered to right-center for a 3-2 lead, and controversy ensued one out later.
Butler hit a ball to left-center field, and replays showed the ball, on a downward trajectory, hit off the top of the padded green wall and bounce back in play. A small chain-link fence is behind the wall, leading to more padding on the railing.
Immediately after second base umpire Dana DeMuth ruled home run, Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out to argue the call and the umpires went to replay for over five minutes.
When the umpires returned to the field, Butler bent down to grab his helmet, as if he was going to be called to second base for a double. Instead, Girardi and the rest of the Yankees in the dugout appeared shocked the call wasn't reversed.
"It's huge, especially if he's incorrect," Girardi said about the ruling by DeMuth.
Girardi said DeMuth told him it was clearly a home run.
"I wanted a clarity on the ruling because we were under the understanding that it had to go over both fences, but he said no they cleared that up in the first day of the ground rules and it only had to go over the first fence."
Girardi said he didn't protest initially because he believed the umpire.
"I looked at the replay and sure enough it did hit that chain-link fence," Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said. "If that's not part of the fence, then it's a home run. I don't understand why that little piece of fence is there. It can probably lead to a lot of controversy over the years."
Butler wasn't complaining about the call.
"Our fences are tough with the wall out there, with the railing up top and it's a tough call either way," he said. "But it's what they ruled, so it was a home run."
Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin homered for New York, which had won three in a row. Derek Jeter had four hits and scored once for the Yankees, who lead Boston by a half-game for first in the AL East.
Bruce Chen (8-5) yielded seven hits and three runs over six innings, and won his third straight start. Soria notched his 22nd save.
Bartolo Colon (8-7) allowed seven hits and five runs over five frames, and lost for the first time in five outings.
Granderson homered in the first inning, his 34th of the year, but Martin flied out with the bases full to stop the rally.
Nick Swisher singled in Granderson in the third before the bottom of the inning controversy.
A fielder's choice from Eric Hosmer plated Melky Cabrera in the fifth, but Martin went deep in the sixth for a 5-3 margin.
Jeter hit a line drive to Cabrera with one out in the ninth, but the center fielder couldn't hold the ball after making a diving attempt. Granderson singled and Mark Teixeira walked before Robinson Cano lifted a sacrifice fly. After a passed ball, Swisher walked, leading to Posada's strikeout.
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will be with team in Minnesota Thursday, but is not expected to be activated off the disabled list. He's been out since July 8 due to right knee surgery...Chen moved to 2-5 lifetime against the Yankees, while Colon fell to 15-9 vs. the Royals...Cabrera has a 10-game hitting streak...The last Yankees player that was not a pitcher to appear in a game at the age of 40 or older was Lou Piniella who played 29 games with the Yankees in 1984.
- NEW YORK: 4
KANSAS CITY: 5
Aug 17 11:13 PM
- Robinson Cano sacrifice fly to left scored Derek Jeter with two out. Runners on first and second and Nick Swisher due up.
Yankees 4, Royals 5 Top 9, 2 OutsAug 17 11:07 PM
- Russell Martin one-out, solo Home Run (13) to left. Eduardo Nunez due up.
Yankees 3, Royals 5 Top 6, 1 OutAug 17 10:00 PM
- Eric Hosmer grounded into a fielder's choice, first to short scoring Melky Cabrera with one out. Billy Butler out at second. Runner on first and Jeff Francoeur due up.
Yankees 2, Royals 5 Bot 5, 1 OutAug 17 9:54 PM
- Billy Butler one-out, solo Home Run (15) to left center. Eric Hosmer due up.
Yankees 2, Royals 4 Bot 3, 1 OutAug 17 9:12 PM
- Alex Gordon none-out, three-run Home Run (15) to right center scored Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar. Melky Cabrera due up.
Yankees 2, Royals 3 Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 17 9:04 PM
- Nick Swisher single to center scored Curtis Granderson with two out. Runner on first and Andruw Jones due up.
Yankees 2, Royals 0 Top 3, 2 OutsAug 17 8:52 PM
- Curtis Granderson one-out, solo Home Run (34) to right. Mark Teixeira due up.
Yankees 1, Royals 0 Top 1, 1 OutAug 17 8:14 PM
- NEW YORK: 0
KANSAS CITY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Aug 17 8:10 PM
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