Originally written 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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.