Butler's power game even stronger at The K
Royals slugger has hit more homers at home than away in his career
BALTIMORE -- With Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium well-known as a pitchers' park and tough for home-run hitters, here's a rather surprising fact: The Royals' Billy Butler, in his career, has hit more homers there than he has on the road.
In 402 games at The K, Butler has 51 homers. In a matching 402 games on the road, he has 47 homers including one in Saturday night's 7-3 win over the Orioles.
This year Butler already has a career high, 24, for a season with 49 games left. But, in a deviation from his career trend, he's had twice as many on the road, 16, than the eight at home.
"I'd like to have that with a park factor -- see how many balls I've hit at home that would've been out somewhere else or, against the team we were playing that day, at their parks," Butler said.
Parks, of course, are a factor. In addition to 81 home games, he has 36 road games in American League Central cities which includes, in his view, other pitcher-friendly parks in Detroit and Minnesota.
"If you go on a good stretch in the AL East, nothing against those teams, but they're hitter-friendly parks and you can hit the ball out of the park just getting it into the air sometimes," Butler said. "If I'd play 81 games in a hitter-friendly park, like Baltimore, Boston, New York, there'd be no doubt that I'd hit more home runs."
Four of his homers this year have come at Baltimore's Camden Yards.
Butler is not predicting how many home runs he might finish with this year. If he reaches 30, it would be the 11th time a Royal has reached that level, topped by Steve Balboni's 36 in 1985.
"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard. Wherever it goes, it goes," he said. "Sometimes it's going to go out, sometimes it's not."
Dyson cleared to play when Royals call
BALTIMORE -- Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson's slightly sprained left ankle kept him in the training room most of Saturday, but he was better.
"He can play. He still feels it a little bit, but we can use him," manager Ned Yost said.
However, the speedy Dyson likely wouldn't be used as a pinch-runner and, in fact, might be rested until after Monday's off-day. It depends on the Royals' needs.
Dyson was injured in the eighth inning of Friday night's 7-1 loss as he blasted a drive over Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, normally a double, but wound up a single because Dyson twisted his ankle.
"I watched the replay and it was weird. He rolled it when he swung," Yost said. "Normally when you roll your ankle when you swing, you don't hit the ball the way he hit it."
Dyson stayed on first base after assuring Yost he was all right, but was pulled immediately after the inning when he was seen favoring the leg.
"When you tell me you're OK, I'm gonna believe you but I'm also going to watch you like a hawk," Yost said. "If there's any change in your gait, you're coming out."
Guthrie shares fan's-eye view with friends
BALTIMORE -- Not often a player in uniform is sighted in the stands of a big league park, but that was the case for ex-Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie before a game the other night at Camden Yards.
"My church here has a night at the ballpark every year and so I've done that for the last few years," said Guthrie, now with the Royals. "It coincided with us being in town, so the draw was it was a bunch of people I know from church and their families and friends that were at the game."
So Guthrie went into the stands to greet visitors from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Baltimore.
"I just go up there every year and anyone who wants a picture or autograph or say hello or whatever," he said. "I just spend a few minutes up there. It's nice to see a lot of great friends and people I worked with and that did great things for me and my family."
Guthrie spent five years with Baltimore before being traded to Colorado before this season. The Royals obtained him from the Rockies in exchange for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez.
"You probably won't see me in the stands normally but, on a night like that, yes," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.