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Kansas City at Los Angeles

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Kansas City (19-16) «10213310011190
L.A. Angels (14-24)001002100490

Butler snaps slump, goes 5 for 5 as Royals rout Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- So much for Billy Butler's offensive drought.

Butler broke out of a severe slump with five hits and five RBIs, and the Kansas City Royals kept Joe Blanton winless in eight starts this season with an 11-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.

"I knew I had been getting closer, but it's just one game," Butler said. "You've got to come out and do it consistently. Hopefully I'm on that upward streak now."

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Butler's hit total tied his career high, established on July 27, 2009, at Baltimore. The designated hitter has three games with five or more RBIs in the majors -- including a franchise record-tying seven on April 7 at Philadelphia, when he hit his first career grand slam. He began the day in a 4-for-35 rut with a .228 average and one RBI in 23 at-bats over his previous six games.

"Billy's one of the best hitters I've ever seen," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I've seen a lot of really good hitters go into little slumps, and Billy's slumps are usually 0 for 9 or 0 for 10. But you also know that any day he's capable of breaking out and really carrying the team for a period of time. Billy's like a light switch. All of a sudden he can walk in, flip it, and there he goes."

Luis Mendoza (1-2) allowed three runs and six hits over six innings, striking out six and walking none as the Royals began a nine-game road trip following a three-game sweep by the New York Yankees.

"We needed to get a win," Yost said. "We knew the offense would click sooner or later, and it did tonight. We knew Billy had been struggling, and that it was just a matter of time before he got back on track. And he did it in a big way tonight."

Mendoza was staked to a 10-1 lead and took a three-hitter into the sixth before giving up a pair of runs. Luke Hochevar pitched three innings for his first save in seven big league seasons.

"Everybody contributed offensively. We got a bunch of hits and a bunch of runs and made it easy for Mendy," Yost said. "But Mendy was pretty darn good tonight. When he missed, he missed down. He had a good two-seamer, a good sinker and good action to his pitches. He also had a good curveball that he kept down in the zone."

Blanton (0-7) threw 99 pitches through 4 2-3 innings, giving up seven runs and 12 hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander's ERA shot up to 6.46.

"I felt like I threw the ball good tonight and my stuff was good," Blanton said. "When they made contact they found holes, broken-bat balls fell in for singles and balls bounced their way down the lines. It was one of those weird games. There were a couple of innings where I was one pitch away from it. But they got a couple of two-out hits that cost me three or four of those runs."

It's the first time in the Angels' 53-year history that they have been on the losing end in all of a pitcher's first eight starts in a season. The last time one of their pitchers was winless in his first eight starts was 1997, when lefty Matt Perisho started eight times as a rookie and was 0-2. The Angels were 4-4 in those games.

Kansas City opened the scoring in the first when Alex Gordon singled with two outs and came all the way around on Butler's double off the right-field wall. Two innings later, Butler drove in two more with a two-out single.

"He's a good hitter," Blanton said. "I threw him a little bit of everything."

The Angels got on the board in the third with an RBI single by Chris Iannetta, who had one hit in his previous 27 at-bats. But the Royals increased the margin to 4-1 in the fourth with Jarrod Dyson's two-out RBI double and tacked on three more in the fifth with an RBI single by Lorenzo Cain and a two-run double by No. 8 hitter Salvador Perez that chased Blanton.

"Probably the biggest one was that last double," Blanton said. "I threw a cutter and left it up in the zone. Other than that, I thought my pitches were pretty crisp and had a lot of movement down in the zone. I felt like I had located, for the most part."

Even the Angels' improving bullpen couldn't contain Butler, whose two-run double highlighted a three-run sixth against rookie Michael Roth and gave the Royals a 10-1 cushion. The hit increased his RBI total to 25 and snapped a string of scoreless innings by Angels relievers.

Notes

  • Angels RF Josh Hamilton was 2 for 3, including a ground double to the left side against the shift. He left the game in the seventh inning because he was "a little lightheaded," manager Mike Scioscia said.
  • Butler, an All-Star for the first time last season, was moved into the cleanup spot five games ago after batting third most of the season.
  • Blanton struck out the side in the second, his only 1-2-3 inning. The only time this season that he has left a game with a lead was April 22 against Texas, when the bullpen blew a 6-3 advantage and he ended up with a six-inning no-decision.
  • Royals RF Jeff Francoeur, 3 for 24 with no RBIs in his last seven games, did not start even though he is 6 for 14 against Blanton.
  • Kansas City's five doubles were a season high.
  • The entire seven-game season series will take place this month, including a four-game set at Kansas City starting May 23.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Billy Butler breaks out of a slump while the Royals add to the struggles of Joe Blanton and the Angels.  (Getty Images)
Billy Butler breaks out of a slump while the Royals add to the struggles of Joe Blanton and the Angels. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 5
R 2
H 5
HR 0
RBI 5
Kansas City

L. Cain
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jarrod Dyson, CF6121011 .270
Alcides Escobar, SS5231012 .267
    Elliot Johnson, SS0000000 .275
Alex Gordon, LF5220013 .322
Billy Butler, DH5255000 .261
Eric Hosmer, 1B5110014 .267
Lorenzo Cain, RF5232021 .328
Mike Moustakas, 3B5000035 .200
Salvador Perez, C4132010 .298
    George Kottaras, C1000010 .154
Chris Getz, 2B5000024 .193
Totals46111911013  
Batting
2B - Jarrod Dyson (5, Blanton), Alcides Escobar (7, Roth), Billy Butler 2 (7, Blanton, Roth), Salvador Perez (7, Blanton)
RBI - Jarrod Dyson (7), Alcides Escobar (16), Billy Butler 5 (25), Lorenzo Cain 2 (19), Salvador Perez 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Jarrod Dyson (6), Alcides Escobar (3), Billy Butler 3 (10), Lorenzo Cain (10), Salvador Perez 2 (7)
SB - Jarrod Dyson (6, 2nd base off Blanton/Iannetta), Alcides Escobar (8, 2nd base off Blanton/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 8
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Luis Mendoza (W,1-2) 6633060 6.00
Luke Hochevar (S,1) 3311040 1.17
WP - Luis Mendoza 2 (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Luis Mendoza 101-62, Luke Hochevar 50-33
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luis Mendoza 10-2
Batters Faced - Luis Mendoza 24, Luke Hochevar 12
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
J.B. Shuck, LF-RF4011011 .286
Mike Trout, CF4110022 .283
Albert Pujols, 1B4111000 .234
Mark Trumbo, DH4001020 .271
Josh Hamilton, RF3020000 .212
    Luis Jimenez, SS1000000 .227
Howie Kendrick, 2B4000022 .282
Alberto Callaspo, 3B4220000 .265
Brendan Harris, SS-LF3000012 .250
   a- Hank Conger, PH1010000 .255
Chris Iannetta, C4011022 .198
Totals36494010  
a-singled for Harris in the 9th
Batting
2B - J.B. Shuck (4, Hochevar), Albert Pujols (8, Mendoza), Josh Hamilton (6, Mendoza), Alberto Callaspo (2, Mendoza)
RBI - J.B. Shuck (5), Albert Pujols (21), Mark Trumbo (27), Chris Iannetta (10)
2-OUT RBI - J.B. Shuck (4)
Team LOB - 5
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Blanton (L,0-7) 4.21277070 6.46
Michael Roth 2.1644020 10.50
Robert Coello 2100040 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 99-65, Michael Roth 49-31, Robert Coello 30-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 4-3, Michael Roth 5-0
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 26, Michael Roth 13, Robert Coello 7
Game Information
Attendance - 32203
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Chris Guccione