KANSAS CITY -- Billy Butler gave credit for his honor as American League co-Player of the Week to Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer.
"At the start of the Boston series, we went to the cage and did some things we wanted to work on," Butler said. "Getting my hands higher, working down to the ball and it creates more backspin. I just give him a ton of the credit for this week and, hopefully, for the rest of the season, because it was a minor adjustment. But it's paid huge dividends and the results are huge, so far."
On the Royals' seven-game trip to Boston and Cleveland, Butler hit .406 with 13 hits that included five home runs and two doubles. He had 12 RBIs and scored six runs.
"It was fun. I'm just glad we had a winning week (4-3) when I did it," Butler said. "The team's playing well, and that's the main thing. Player of the Week or not, I'm just glad we're playing good baseball. We've got two months left, and we're just trying to build off that and just keep playing good baseball and build on things."
He insisted that Seitzer was the reason for his big week.
"He's done a great job making me a better hitter each day, and I'm so glad that I [have] the opportunity to work with him," Butler said. "He knows his hitting like no one else I've worked with."
Butler satisfied with Carrasco's punishment
KANSAS CITY -- Billy Butler was satisfied with the punishment Major League Baseball imposed on Cleveland pitcher Carlos Carrasco for "intentionally throwing a pitch in the head area" of the Royals' designated hitter last Friday night.
"I respect the league's decision. He should definitely be punished when you go at somebody's head," Butler said. "It's the same thing if somebody comes up and in on me, and I go out there and try to fight him. It's the same thing, and you get suspended either way."
Carrasco received a six-game suspension and a fine reported to be $2,500.
"I [would like] to commend the umpire, Scott Barry. He threw him out right away and he took charge. The umpires did a great job in that situation. They kept it from getting out of hand," Butler said. "Otherwise, I hope he learned his lesson. It's unprofessional, and the bottom line is to be professional."
Carrasco was upset because he'd been hit hard, and Melky Cabrera, after hitting a three-run homer, had admired his drive too long before trotting around the bases. Butler, who also homered against Carrasco, wouldn't have minded that much if he had just drilled him in the hip.
"I wouldn't have said anything," Butler said. "I'd have talked to Melky about getting around the bases a little bit better."
In fact, others on the team talked to Cabrera about avoiding such a display.
Carrasco has appealed his punishment.
"I don't know what it'll come down to, but he'll miss at least one start and he'll have some time to think about what happened," Butler said.
Pina ready for action
KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Manny Pina was at Kauffman Stadium in plenty of time for Tuesday night's game against the Orioles. Summoned after catcher Matt Treanor sustained a concussion, Pina didn't arrive on Sunday until the Royals were in the second inning at Cleveland.
"I saw the whole team, and they gave me congratulations," Pina said. "I went to the bullpen and caught a couple guys. It was cool."
This is Pina's first time in the Major Leagues. He had just been sent to Double-A Northwest Arkansas after spending the season with Triple-A Omaha, trading places with catcher Salvador Perez.
"The first two months, I struggled with my bat. And in June and July, I hit much better," Pina said. "The last two months I hit something like .299. I started swinging pretty good."
Treanor was hurt in a home-plate collision on Saturday night at Cleveland.
"He said he really feels good now, so I don't know how long I'll be here," Pina said.
Royals opt to add extra bullpen help
KANSAS CITY -- Manager Ned Yost said the Royals debated bringing up second baseman Johnny Giavotella but, in the end, decided on adding an arm to the bullpen in left-hander Everett Teaford.
Giavotella is leading Triple-A Omaha with a .339 average, 32 doubles and 72 RBIs and is expected to get a Major League shot sometime this season.
"Gio's going to be here, he's coming," Yost said. "He's doing everything he's needed to do to be here. The time's just not right, we needed to protect our pitching. We thought long and hard about it yesterday. But I don't imagine it'll be too much longer, and he'll find his way up here."
Teaford, who took Kyle Davies' spot when the right-handed starter went on the disabled list on Monday, is the eighth pitcher in the bullpen now that the rotation is back to five starters, instead of six.
"We felt that we wanted to protect our pitching," Yost said. "We've been using our young guys a lot, and an extra arm wouldn't hurt us right now, so we brought Teaford back to give us a little extra cushion, right now. We'll look at it again later in the week, but right now we need pitching."
Royals' Back to School Drive to help Joplin
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' seventh annual Back to School Drive, this one to support Joplin, Mo., schoolchildren, will be held on Thursday and Friday nights at Kauffman Stadium.
Fans can donate school supplies each evening from 6 to 8 p.m. CT just outside the Diamond Club, across from the Majestic Team Store on the plaza level. Cash donations will be accepted as well.
New backpacks and items such as pencils, crayons, colored pencils, folders, Kleenex, notebooks, scissors and rulers are needed at schools in Joplin, which was devastated by a tornado on May 22. Gently-used books will also be collected. For details, go to www.royals.com/community.
For a $40 contribution, fans will receive a baseball or for $10 a photo card, each autographed by a player of their choice, while supplies last.
Royals' top players for July selected
KANSAS CITY -- Center fielder Melky Cabrera and relief pitcher Louis Coleman were elected the Royals' top players for the month of July in a vote of Kansas City media.
Cabrera had a .384 average with 43 hits, second in the Majors to Dustin Pedroia's 46 for Boston. He had two four-hit games, four homers -- including a grand slam -- and 18 RBIs, including five in one game.
Coleman had the lowest ERA, 0.61, in the American League among pitchers with at least 14 2/3 innings. He held opponents to a .180 average and gained his first big league victory last Monday at Boston.
First-pitch temperature hits 107 degrees
KANSAS CITY -- It may or may not have been a record, but one thing was certain, it was scorching hot for the first pitch of Tuesday night's Royals-Orioles game.
The first-pitch temperature at Kauffman Stadium was 107 degrees, with a heat index of 111.
Research by statistical bureaus produced incomplete records on temperatures in Kansas City through the years, although it was found that a July 30, 1980, game began at 106 degrees.
A pregame ceremony to unveil the 2012 All-Star Game logo was moved indoors, and team trainers were cautioning players to stay hydrated during the game.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.