Found August 13, 2013 on
Fox Sports Kansas City:
Billy Butler is one of the main reasons behind the Kansas City Royals' impressive turnaround.
Bruce Chen is making his own contributions on the mound.
Butler looks to continue his tear at the plate and Chen goes for another strong start as the Royals again attempt to capitalize on the struggling Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.
Winning 17 of 20 has made Kansas City (62-54) a factor in the AL wild-card race after owning a 45-51 record on July 22.
Butler is certainly impacting the surge, hitting .372 in 26 games after owning a .263 average over his first 50.
"The first half was definitely a grind for me. I was kind of hit or miss," Butler said. "I was doing my same stuff, but wasn't getting the results. I've been feeling good ever since the second half started. I'm just taking confidence from each day and letting it build.
"I've always been better in the second half throughout my career."
Butler is hitting .339 after the All-Star break over the past two seasons, fourth-best in the majors. He continued his recent success with a solo homer for one of his two hits during Monday's 6-2 win over Miami to open this three-game series.
The designated hitter is 12 for 25 with two homers, four RBIs and six runs during a six-game hitting streak.
Chen (5-0, 1.79 ERA) is also making a difference for the Royals, going 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in five starts since being inserted in the rotation.
"I'm feeling comfortable and I'm feeling good, but most important, I'm doing everything I can to help this team win," Chen told the team's official website. "I'm just glad that I'm able to do it as a starter and I'm glad I'm able to do it so far so well. I just want to keep it going so I can help this team any way I can."
The 36-year-old left-hander certainly helped Thursday, when he tossed 7 23 scoreless innings in a 5-1 win over AL East-leading Boston.
"He's just been as sharp as a tack since he came back, even in his first game," manager Ned Yost said. "He continues to have that consistency every time out."
Chen will face the Marlins (44-73) for the first time since 2006, and his last start against them came in 2001.
Miami will counter Chen with 21-year-old phenom Jose Fernandez (8-5, 2.58 ERA), who has the team hoping for a bright future.
Fernandez, though, is coming off a shaky performance in Thursday's 5-4, 10-inning loss at Pittsburgh. The right-hander allowed two runs with five strikeouts and four walks in five innings. He was 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 29 innings over his previous four games.
"Eventually, the league is going to adjust to Fernandez and he's going to have to adjust," manager Mike Redmond told the team's official website.
Fernandez seems in need of an adjustment on the road, where he's 3-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 11 starts compared with 5-0 with a 1.39 ERA in 11 at home.
He has lost both his road starts in interleague play, surrendering 11 runs and 11 hits with eight strikeouts and five walks in 8 13 innings.
The Marlins, who stranded 11 runners Monday, are hitting .202 with 19 runs while dropping eight of nine games.
"We don't have the offense to cover up any mistakes and right now we're making too many mistakes," Redmond said.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
I’m going to say something which may ruffle some feathers. Salvador Perez is a little overrated. But I’m going to follow that up with something that hopefully will win everyone back, George Kottaras is very, very underrated. He’s also the best back-up catcher in baseball and is as much the reason The Royals are on this hot streak as anyone else on the team.
The praise for...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There's almost no explaining the incredible run Royals left-hander Bruce Chen is on. Chen was brilliant again Tuesday night, throwing seven shutout innings. And now his ERA is 0.93 through six starts since returning to the rotation.
Unfortunately, the Royals offense again let him down, coming up with zilch in a rather discouraging 1-0 loss in 10 innings to...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Defense may be the most unappreciated aspect of baseball.
Just don't tell Royals pitchers that.
"One of the main reasons we've been as good as we have been," ace James Shields says, "is our defense. Those guys have been phenomenal.
"It's not unappreciated to us."
Sure, there have been some Royals hiccups in the field of...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Royals right-hander Wade Davis wasn't sure how he'd feel once he returned to the mound after being away from the team for over a week.
Davis was away on bereavement leave, grieving the loss of his stepbrother, Dustin Huguley, 25, who passed away unexpectedly Aug. 3 in Florida.
Davis did not speak of his personal loss, though manager Ned Yost had indicated...
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was out of Tuesday night's lineup against the Marlins because of a Grade 1 strain of his left calf that he sustained the previous night.
Moustakas said he was rounding third base when he felt the calf muscle tighten. He still managed to cross home plate and even started the next inning in the field.
But when he couldn't push off, he went...
Wade Davis came off the family emergency leave list and pitched six solid innings, Billy Butler homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Miami Marlins 6-2 on Monday night.
The Royals won for the 17th time in 20 games, while the Marlins are 1-8 in their past nine.
Davis had not pitched since Aug. 2, returning to Florida to be with his family after the death of his stepbrother...
During a recent Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium, some wisenheimer managed to get his tweet up on the scoreboard. Yep, that tweet comes courtesy of “mustacherides69,” who very well could have been wearing a “Big Johnson” t-shirt at the ballgame. It’s funny because it’s a sexual reference. Well played, sir. Although the best […]The post Tweet from ‘mustacherides69′...
The Kansas City Royals have acquired veteran utility infielder Emilio Bonifacio from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Royals will send either a player to be named later or cash to complete the deal. This is the second utility infielder that the Royals have acquired this week. On Sunday they picked up Jamey Carroll from the Minnesota Twins. It has been a rough year for Bonifacio, so...
Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas left Monday’s game early with tightness in his left calf and hasn’t played since. This morning he was seen walking around with a boot but the team has said that was just a precaution to relieve pressure. I’m kind of skeptical about that as Ned Yost has said Moustakas won’t play till this weekend and even that’s just a possibility...
As dazzling as the pitching staff has been in the Miami Marlins' wins this month, it has been fairly awful in the defeats.
Jacob Turner's road struggles may mean the club is headed for more of the latter.
After the Marlins got another victory via shutout, Turner looks for the first road win of his career in the finale of a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals on...
Alex Gordon's solo home run in the 3rd inning off of John Lackey turned out to be the difference in the game as the Kansas City Royals beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals took three-of-four from the Red Sox. However, the Red Sox still hold a three-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East standings.
And now the Royals are eight games over .500 and they got there Monday night in a 6-2 victory over the Miami Marlins by overcoming some rare defensive bobbles through stout pitching and a balanced 12-hit attack.
They also got there without All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon who missed a game to attend the birth of his second son and despite another addition to a growing injury list...
(John Sleezer, Kansas City Star) Thursday: Boston Red Sox 1, Kansas City Royals, 5 Loss : Jon Lester (10-7) Win: Bruce Chen (5-0) Save: Luke Hochevar (2) After a tough, gritty series against the Houston Astros, the Red Sox packed their bags and headed on the road to Kansas...
Despite pitching on the road at Los Angeles today, Matt Harvey runs away as the day’s best pitching matchup. And take a look at who comes in at number four — everyone’s favorite crafty lefty, Bruce Chen!Got a question on methodology? Leave it in the comments section (as well as any thoughts on today’s rankings).Tomorrow’s rankings will be posted at 11:00 am EST today as...