Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 8/13/13
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

John Elway: 2015 Broncos could be best defense ever

Lakers and Cavs discussed Kobe-LeBron trade in 2007

Report: Hiring Scott Brooks could help Knicks land Durant

Report: Tyreke Evans to undergo surgery, miss rest of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sabathia on post-rehab health: The best I've felt in three years

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

Craig Sager: From the brink of death to the NBA All-Star Game

Michael Oher slid backwards during play in Super Bowl 50

Magic interested in Blake Griffin trade?

Brandon Marshall on Newton’s presser: ‘You can’t do that’

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker