Baseball / Sports

The Kansas City Royals' Norichika Aoki follows through on a two-run triple in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT)

Billy Butler bashes, Jeremy Guthrie battles as Royals beat Indians, 7-5

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie was laboring. The Indians played merry-go-round on the bases in the second inning and didn't stop until they reached five runs.

Even Guthrie appeared to getting dizzy. He didn't cover the bag after an impressive diving stop by first baseman Billy Butler.

But Guthrie didn't give in. He battled back, got the Royals into the sixth with no further damage and the bats took it from there.

The Royals won, 7-5, and the fifth straight triumph became one of their most satisfying. The five-run deficit was their largest overcome in a victory this season. They've taken three straight from the Indians, a team the Royals trailed in the Central Division standing entering the series.

And if scoreboard watching is your thing, have at it. Saturday's decisions pushed the Royals closer to a playoff spot.

Three teams remain ahead of Kansas City for the second wild-card spot, but the Royals are only game behind the teams tied for that position, the Yankees and Blue Jays. The Mariners are a half-game ahead.

Guthrie wasn't the only one on a comeback trail.

Butler, whose season long power outage had him out of the lineup on two of the previous three games, blasted his second two-run homer in two days.

Like Friday, this one broke a deadlock and provided the winning margin. Also like Friday, he crushed it.

The blast traveled 433 feet over the Royals bullpen in left field. Indians left fielder Chris Dickerson looked up and didn't make much of a move. There was no need.

The Royals began mounting a charge in the third, when Alcides Escobar scored on Omar Infante's fielder's choice grounder to short. That made it 5-1.

By the end of the next inning, the Royals had pulled even, and did most of their damage with two outs.

Two were on when Escobar dunked an RBI single to right.

Nori Aoki, the designated hitter for the third straight game, roped his third triple of the season. The shot in the right field corner scored Escobar and Lorenzo Cain, and the Royals then tied it when Aoki trotted home on a passed ball charged to Yan Gomes.

This was the answer to the Indians onslaught that started with yet another home run by Carlos Santana. His solo shot led off the second and was his third home run against the Royals in two games.

Guthrie retired the next two batters, and was an out away from a low-damage frame. Instead the flood gates opened.

The next seven reached with the big blow provided by Jason Kipnis, who scored two on his double that one-hopped the wall in right center.

But the Indians were finished scoring after the second.

They put two runners on in the seventh and eighth inning, but the Royals bullpen rose to the task.

Kelvin Herrera inherited two runners with none out in the seventh but the hard-throwing right-hander stared down three straight left-handed hitters, getting Nick Swisher to offer at one of his 100 mph fast balls.

Wade Davis wiggled out of self-inflicted trouble in the eighth, freezing Jose Ramirez with a 97-mph fast ball to end the frame.

(c)2014 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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