Royals 17, Mariners 3
So with an inkling of what to expect, Butler had one of the best games of any rookie hitter so far this year, driving in six runs with a home run and a double Tuesday night in Kansas City’s 17-3 romp over Seattle.
“I faced him coming up through the system, so I was comfortable at the plate because I knew what he had,” said Butler. “I knew how he pitches. So that helped.”
Butler, who will probably return to the minor leagues when regular DH Mike Sweeney comes off the disabled list, had a three-run home run in the six-run first inning and a bases-loaded double in the four-run second.
At 21 years and 76 days old, Butler became the youngest player with six RBIs in a game since Alex Rodriguez drove in six for Seattle on May 17, 1996, when he was 20 years, 295 days. Butler also had a single and was 3-for-5 with three runs scored while becoming the first rookie with a six-RBI game this season.
The three-run homer followed three singles and Alex Gordon’s sacrifice fly in the first inning. The bases-loaded double came on a pitch down and away.
“It was a two-seam fastball away. It was an 88 mph fastball, pretty much what that guy throws,” Butler said.
Feierabend (1-3) allowed 10 runs in just 1 1-3 innings in his seventh major league start. His ERA jumped from 6.46 to 9.72 after allowing eight hits, including two home runs. He also had two walks and hit a batter. In his fifth start on June 22, he allowed nine runs in 2 2-3 innings of a 16-1 loss to Cincinnati.
“He’s a young guy. He’s got great stuff,” Butler said. “I think he’ll make the adjustment and be good up here.”
The 17 runs and 16 hits tied the Royals’ season highs. It was the most runs the Mariners have allowed all year.
Feierabend also remembered Butler from their minor league days.
“He likes to get his arms extended,” he said. “Both balls he hit were out over the plate. The home run was waist-high in the middle of the plate. The double was a fastball down and away. Two pitches. One was decent, one was horrible.
“I rely on my control. I didn’t have it tonight.”
Jason Davis relieved Feierabend with one out in the second inning and gave up six runs—four earned—and six hits, two walks, a wild pitch, a hit batter and two balks in 4 1-3 innings. It was the second straight loss for the Mariners since Mike Hargrove’s unexpected resignation on Sunday was accompanied by their eighth straight win.
“We ran into a hot Kansas City baseball team,” said John McLaren, 0-2 as the Seattle manager. “They’re playing well. They feel good about themselves.”
Jason LaRue followed Butler’s home run with one of his own and wound up with a single, double and homer along with two RBIs.
In the second inning, Feierabend loaded the bases with a single, walk and a hit batter and Butler finally chased the young left-hander with a three-run double.
“I didn’t see the confidence that he had shown us before,” McLaren said. “His velocity wasn’t that off.”
The Mariners also had their second unusual injury in two days when catcher Kenji Johjima left the game after being hit in the right wrist area by a pitch that glanced off Mark Teahen. The ball caused a contusion of Johjima’s right metacarpal.
“He has a plate with four screws in his hand and it hit the plate,” McLaren said. “It shot a bolt right up his shoulder. It shocked him. There’s nothing broken. X-rays are negative. He won’t play tomorrow. Hopefully, he’ll be back for the first game at Oakland (on Thursday).”
Jorge De La Rosa (6-9) won his second straight start, going seven innings and allowing three runs and eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Every Royals starter scored at least one run. Butler reached on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt’s error in the fourth and scored his third run on Ross Gload’s two-run single. David DeJesus also had two RBIs.
1B Richie Sexson, who left Monday’s game in the bottom of the ninth with a contusion of the left thumb, will be out several days. He didn’t play Tuesday but the Mariners are not planning to put him on the DL. … Gary Thurman, a longtime organization man for Seattle, was named first-base coach by the Mariners’ new manager. … Three Royals were hit by pitches, raising their major league-leading total to 54.