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Royals 9, Phillies 8

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA - Billy Butler hit his first career grand slam and drove in a career-high seven runs Sunday afternoon, and the Kansas City Royals held on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8.

Butler, who went 2-for-4, equaled a franchise record with his seven RBIs, and the Royals (3-3) rallied from a 4-0 deficit for the second time in three days to win the rubber game in the three-game weekend series.

Philadelphia had 15 hits, including four by Michael Young, and Kansas City had 13, including three by Alex Gordon. The Royals built a 9-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, but Jimmy Rollins ripped a three-run homer off reliever J.C. Gutierrez to make it 9-7.

Greg Holland, who absorbed a 4-3 loss Saturday when he was victimized by Kevin Frandsen's three-run double in the bottom of the ninth, retired Chase Utley but allowed singles to Ryan Howard and Young before he was replaced by Kelvin Herrera.

Pinch hitter Laynce Nix roped an RBI single to center, making it 9-8, and Herrera then wild-pitched two runners into scoring position.

But after a long battle Herrera struck out Erik Kratz on a 1-2 pitch to end the game and record his first save.

James Shields (1-1) picked up his first victory as a Royal, battling through six innings despite giving up four runs in the first. He allowed 10 hits but didn't walk a batter, while striking out eight. Tim Collins worked two perfect innings in relief.

Phillies starter Cole Hamels (0-2), who had also been rocked on Opening Day in Atlanta, yielded nine hits and eight runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. He struck out two and walked four for Philadelphia (2-4).

Hamels led 4-2 entering the fifth, but Chris Getz led off with a double, and one out later Alex Gordon reached on an infield single, with Getz taking third. Alcides Escobar walked on four pitches, and Butler blasted a 1-0 pitch toward the left-field stands.

The ball eluded the leaping attempt of left fielder Domonic Brown, struck a barrier behind the fence and bounced back onto the playing surface, and at first appeared to be a three-run double. But after a replay review, the umpiring crew ruled that it was a home run, Butler's first of the season.

Butler added a two-run single off reliever Chad Durbin in the sixth, after Hamels allowed two men to reach and Durbin walked Escobar to load the bases with two outs.

Gordon singled home a run in the eighth, making it 9-4.

The Phillies staked Hamels to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, when Utley, Young and Brown contributed RBI singles and Erik Kratz tacked on a sacrifice fly.

The Royals scored twice in the third, as Escobar and Butler drove in runs with a double and a groundout, respectively.

NOTES: Butler became the 12th Royal to drive in seven runs in a game. ... The Phillies had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth against Shields, but failed to score. ... Collins had also retired all six hitters he faced in Friday's 13-4 victory over the Phils. ... Young went 4-for-5 and Ben Revere was 3-for-5 for Philadelphia, while Rollins and Utley had two hits apiece. ... Revere's stolen base in the fourth was the Phillies' seventh of the season in as many attempts. They began the day tied for the major league lead in steals. ... Royals outfielder Jeff Franceour has 116 assists since 2005, most among major league outfielders.
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