05/12/2013 8:32 PM ET
Decked out in pink, Royals celebrate moms everywhere
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- It was pink everywhere on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium, where the Royals and the Yankees wore the color to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer on Mother's Day.
Robinson Cano of the Yankees used a pink bat to hammer a two-run homer in the third inning to start his team toward a 4-2 victory. Alex Gordon used one in the first inning to drive in the Royals' first run with a sacrifice fly.
"You know what, when you've got that pink bat on Mother's Day, it's one of the biggest days in baseball," Cano said. "All you want is to go up there and just be able to use that bat the whole game, because if you go 0-for-2, you want to change and go back to the regular bat."
Gordon's mother is a breast cancer survivor, and he served on the guest judging panel to select Honorary Bat Girls across the country for the day along with CC Sabathia of the Yankees.
The players also wore pink ribbons on their jerseys, pink sweatbands on their arms and pink batting gloves. Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur was resplendent in pink shoes, as was Yankees reliever David Robertson.
The items will be auctioned off to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.
The Royals honored Connie Smith in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she became active in Susan G. Komen Kansas City, started a Race for the Cure team and raised nearly $5,000.
Butler notches 500th RBI with home run
KANSAS CITY -- Billy Butler couldn't have reached his 500th RBI milestone with a better type of a hit -- a home run that gave the Royals a 2-1 lead in Saturday night's game.
"That's pretty cool," Butler said.
"It's a good accomplishment and it's just another step in the right direction. I wish it would've happened in a win and been the winning RBI. We'd have won, 2-1, and cruised off into the sunset."
Instead, the Royals wound up losing to the Yankees, 3-2. Still, the home run gave Butler a ray of sunshine in what's been an unusually long slump for him. He went into Sunday's game just 4-for-31 (.129) in the previous eight games. He had the one home run and four RBIs.
"Even though Billy struggles at times and this has probably been the most extended period of time I've seen Billy struggle, I'm still willing to put down money that at the end of the year, Billy's numbers are going to be where they should be," manager Ned Yost said.
Butler had forgotten he had RBI No. 500 coming up but, of course, the giant video board in center field reminded everyone in the ballpark when he got it.
"Not much we could do to get the ball back. It went into the stands," Yost said. "It's a nice milestone, but when it's all said and done, he'll double that, triple that."
Butler reached his career high last year with 107 RBIs.
"It's been a fun ride so far," he said. "It seems like just yesterday I was making my debut, and I've just been having fun ever since. I'm just happy to be on a good team."
Royals give Dyson a shot in leadoff spot
KANSAS CITY -- Jarrod Dyson got his first turn in the Royals' leadoff spot on Sunday against the Yankees.
"Right now, we're still kind of fiddling with it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Dyson is probably our most prototypical leadoff guy. And days that he plays, he might move up there. We'll see, we'll just take it day to day."
Alex Gordon had been the leadoff batter for 30 games and Alcides Escobar took over for three games after Gordon was put in the third slot. Escobar was back in his old No. 2 position on Sunday.
Dyson, playing center field as Lorenzo Cain got the day off, opened the Royals' first inning with a double down the right-field line and later scored.
In the six previous games that Dyson started this season, he'd batted eighth or ninth. But being first is his preference.
"It's always been a goal for me," Dyson said. "I came up leading off, I came up batting in the nine-hole. Either or, it doesn't make a difference to me, but I love being at the top of the lineup and get things going for the team. It's just a great experience to be up there. You get more at-bats and I probably get more heaters up there."
Dyson, the Royals' fourth outfielder, has been getting more playing time recently. Yost sees him as a useful weapon because of his tremendous speed.
"I don't know anybody faster," Yost said.
Dyson is always ready to steal a base.
"If I get on, I'm looking forward to going," he said. "That's always been my goal. I've played like that my whole career and I'm not going to change that. So if I get on, you can look for me going at some point."
Royals salute Mariano with video tribute
KANSAS CITY -- On Yankees closer Mariano Rivera's last day as a player in Kansas City, the Royals gave him a video tribute on the Kauffman Stadium board prior to the game.
Hall of Famer George Brett and Royals general manager Dayton Moore presented Rivera a check from the ballclub for the pitcher's charitable foundation.
Rivera was given a standing ovation by the crowd as he returned to the visitors' dugout.
Butler has no hard feelings toward Cano
KANSAS CITY -- The boos continued to rain down on Robinson Cano throughout the weekend series. Royals fans still haven't forgiven him for omitting Billy Butler from the Home Run Derby at last year's All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium.
Cano, the Yankees' second baseman, was captain of the American League Derby team and took heavy heat from the crowd during the competition for bypassing the hometown All-Star.
No hard feelings on Butler's part.
"I know the fans here are very passionate, but Robby over there is a great guy, he does a lot of great things," Butler said. Obviously, he's a great player, a great teammate over there. It's just part of the game and I'm sure I'll get a warm reception in New York when I go there, too."
Kansas City fans got some satisfaction when Cano didn't hit a home run in the Derby, getting ingloriously shut out.
Those fans, though, had to be chagrined on Sunday. When it really counted, Cano blasted a two-run homer to right field off Royals starter Ervin Santana.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.