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Butler powers Royals past Indians 5-3

Saturday, September 22, 2012 | 9:50 p.m. CDT
Kansas City's Billy Butler watches his first inning RBI single in Saturday's game against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY — Billy Butler hit a run-scoring single in the first inning to reach 100 RBIs for the first time and the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 on Saturday night.

Butler also doubled twice in his 53rd multihit game, raising his batting average to .312. He became the first Royals player to drive in at least 100 runs since Carlos Beltran had 100 RBIs in 2003.

Alcides Escobar doubled in Jarrod Dyson, then scored on Butler's base hit to give Kansas City a 2-0 lead in the first.

Cord Phelps hit a two-run homer for Cleveland, which has dropped 11 of 14. The Indians have the worst record in the majors since the All-Star break at 18-49.

Royals rookie Will Smith (6-8) allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings to improve to 2-4 with a 4.54 ERA in his last six starts.

Kansas City scored three times in the fifth to grab a 5-2 lead while chasing Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez (9-17). Cleveland used three pitchers in the inning, which included two walks, two singles, a sacrifice fly, an error and a caught stealing.

Alex Gordon scampered home on Eric Hosmer's fielder's choice grounder, putting the Royals in front again. Brayan Pena had a sacrifice fly, and Irving Falu singled in Jeff Francoeur with the final run.

Jimenez was charged with five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked three while dropping to 0-6 with a 6.49 ERA in his last eight starts.

Jimenez leads the majors in losses and his 95 walks are second in the AL. The Indians' starters own a major league-worst 6.36 ERA since the All-Star break.

Phelps, who was 1 for 18 since his Sept. 4 promotion, hit a drive to left in the fifth, tying it at 2. Thomas Neal was aboard after a leadoff single.

The Indians scored an unearned run in the eighth after center fielder Jason Bourgeois committed an error.

Pena led off the fourth with his first career triple in his 933rd plate appearance, but was stranded.

Rookie Kelvin Herrera worked the ninth for his second save in three opportunities. Francoeur cut down Shin-Soo Choo trying to stretch a single in the ninth for his 19th assist, which leads all major league outfielders.

Choo finished with two hits and two walks.


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