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Butler, Greinke power Royals past Athletics

Sep 3, 2008 - 4:51 AM By Alan Eskew PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Billy Butler homered and drove in four runs and Zack Greinke pitched seven strong innings as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics, 5-2, on Tuesday.

Butler, who is batting .500 (8-for-16) during an eight-game hitting streak, belted a three-run homer off rookie Gio Gonzalez (1-3) in the first inning.

The 22-year-old Butler, who had three hits, also ripped an RBI single in the fifth for the Royals, who won for only the fifth time in 24 games.

Butler said he has gone "back to the basics" after a slow start that ended with him being sent back to the minors for a month.

"Obviously, earlier in the year wasn't working what I was doing," Butler said. "I really didn't have a mentality going up there hitting. I was confused. I was maybe letting other things get to me. I got to the point where I was going to go back to the basics and what always worked.

"That ball dead in, I can hit that ball to left center (field) and drive it well. That's just the way I've always hit. I got away from that earlier this year. Luckily, I've been going good right now and have been able to keep it going. I'll try to ride the wave."

Butler helped Greinke (10-9) pick up his first win in five starts. The righthander allowed two runs and six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

"We got a good lead early on, which made it a lot easier, and I was just trying to go deep into the game and keep it a quality start," Greinke said. "The early lead allows you to attack guys a little better. I didn't get into too much trouble, so I didn't have to change the philosophy too much."

One of Greinke's few mistakes came in the second when he yielded a double to Jack Cust and a RBI triple to Daric Barton that cut the lead to 3-1.

The Royals made it a one-run game when Ryan Shealy, who was recalled from Class AAA Omaha prior to the game, led off the fourth with a homer. It was Shealy's first home run since June 6, 2007.

"I just wanted to do something to help the team win and I was fortunate enough to do that," Shealy said.

"I was flirting with one my first one (to the warning track) and I was happy to see that second one carry out. He kept nailing that same spot and I kept fouling them off. That one was up a little bit more and caught more of the plate and I was able to get enough of it."

Barton led off the fifth with his eighth home run, but Greinke worked out of a jam to preserve a 4-2 lead.

Ramon Ramirez threw a hitless eighth and Joakim Soria recorded his first save since August 15. It was Soria's 34th save in 37 opportunities.

Making his sixth career start, Gonzalez allowed four runs - three earned - and four hits in four innings.

"I'm working on a couple of things," Gonzalez said. "Working on my mechanics. I did feel a lot better today, and there were a couple of things I was adjusting to. Some of the results weren't exactly what I wanted, but the other results were perfect."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 2
    KANSAS CITY 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 x 5 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - GIO GONZALEZ, SANTIAGO CASILLA (5TH), JOSHUA OUTMAN (6TH),
    JOEY DEVINE (8TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
    KAN - ZACK GREINKE, RAMON RAMIREZ (8TH), JOAKIM SORIA
    (9TH) AND

    Sep 2 11:12 PM
  • 10
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Athletics 2, Royals 5  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 2 10:52 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BILLY BUTLER SCORED MIKE AVILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BUTLER ON FIRST, J GUILLEN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    KANSAS CITY 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R SHEALY (.500, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Athletics 2, Royals 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 2 10:16 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DARIC BARTON (8) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF ZACK GREINKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2, KANSAS CITY 4
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.220, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 2, Royals 4  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 2 9:54 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN SHEALY (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF GIO GONZALEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, KANSAS CITY 4
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M OLIVO (.259, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 1, Royals 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 2 9:40 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Athletics 1, Royals 3  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 2 9:21 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY DARIC BARTON SCORED JACK CUST.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D BARTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    KANSAS CITY 3 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.220, 7 HR, 40 RBI)

    Athletics 1, Royals 3  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 2 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY BILLY BUTLER (10) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF GIO GONZALEZ SCORED MIKE AVILES AND JOSE GUILLEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0, KANSAS CITY 3
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R SHEALY (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Athletics 0, Royals 3  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 2 8:53 PM