6/29/2013 8:51 P.M. ET
Lough turning heads with his defense
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- David Lough not only has a solid, near-.300 batting average going for him, his defensive work has been impressive as well.
Prime example: His diving catch of Pedro Florimon's screaming line drive toward the right-field line to save two runs in Friday night's 9-3 Royals victory over the Twins.
"I thought I had a chance all the way. It was a lefty and it tails and sinks. So I just went after it. I was playing straight up and made a good play on it," Lough said. "And then before that I had to run into the gap a little bit for a ball, but it was just normal plays. Right?"
The latter was said with a sly smile, indicative of the 27-year-old Ohioan's sense of humor. He quickly alluded to the other part of his Friday night: 0-for-4 at the plate.
"Something every day," Lough said. "Just like Skip [Ned Yost] says, 'It's all about doing something.' If you don't bring the bat -- and I know my swing wasn't there -- just make something happen for the team. Do something to help us win."
Winning pitcher James Shields certainly has noticed.
"D-Lo has been phenomenal all year on defense. I mean he's made a bunch of great plays, especially behind me," Shields said. "I'm really happy with our defense right now. Our defense is pretty good. It's nice to pitch with that defense behind you."
Lough also has four of the Royals' 20 outfield assists, which was tied with the D-backs for second in the Majors behind Minnesota's 24 entering Saturday's game. Alex Gordon had seven, Lorenzo Cain five, Jeff Francoeur three and Jarrod Dyson one.
Butler matches Bo's homer total with Royals
MINNEAPOLIS -- Billy Butler matched Bo Jackson's home run total for the Royals with the 109th blast of his career in the first inning of Friday night's 9-3 win over the Twins. That tied them for 10th on the franchise homer list.
It also ended the second-longest homer drought in Butler's seven years with Kansas City. He had gone 136 at-bats since taking the Angels' Jason Vargas deep on May 14 in Anaheim.
"I was swinging the bat pretty good in between and I happened to run into one," Butler said. "I'm not going up there trying to hit home runs, I'm just trying to drive the gaps and let it happen when it does. It was one of my longer streaks. Probably my rookie year or second year I had one of those, but I was productive in between."
Indeed, in his second season (2008), Butler went 150 at-bats between home runs.
Butler is on a rampage against Minnesota. His three hits on Friday night pushed his 2013 average against the Twins to .519 (14-for-27 with two homers and eight RBIs). He's also done well against them in his career with a .314 average.
"I guess it's the same thing when Joe Mauer is facing us," Butler said of his success against the Twins. "Mauer hits the Royals big time. I don't know -- it's coincidence. I'm just feeling pretty good right now, that's all it is."
Prior to Saturday, Mauer had a .346 career average against the Royals with a whopping 89 RBIs and 10 home runs in 123 games. But this year has been different -- just .194 (7-for-36).
Royals' power surge a rarity for club
MINNEAPOLIS -- It had been a while since the Royals hit four home runs as they did on Friday night.
Eric Hosmer's two and one each by Mike Moustakas and Billy Butler in the 9-3 victory over the Twins were the first four in a game since Aug. 11, 2012, at Baltimore. That night at Camden Yards, Alex Gordon belted two and Salvador Perez and Butler each had one in a 7-3 win.
The two by Hosmer marked the first multi-homer game by a Royals player this season.
The club record for home runs in a game is six, accomplished twice, both on the road.
On May 21, 2003, at Seattle's Safeco Field, Carlos Beltran hit two homers with Angel Berroa, Joe Randa, Michael Tucker and Raul Ibanez also connecting in a 14-5 victory.
On July 14, 1991, at Detroit's Tiger Stadium, Mike Macfarlane and Brian McRae each hit two homers with Todd Benzinger and George Brett each getting one in an 18-4 win.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.