Designated hitter Billy Butler attained a goal Saturday night by reaching 100 RBIs for the first time in his career.
By BOB DUTTON and SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
"Obviously, when its the first time for you, its big," he said. "Its a great goal. Being in the middle of the lineup, and being counted on to be a run-producer, thats a big goal."
Butler reached 100 with an RBI single in the first inning of a 5-3 victory over the Indians. He is the first Royals player to register triple figures since Carlos Beltran finished the 2003 season with exactly 100.
"I said last year that Billy was a 30 (-homer), 100-RBI guy," manager Ned Yost said. "I just think Billy is capable of being a huge run-producer in the American League. I think hes a guy who is capable of having 120 or 130 RBIs every year."
Butler needs three homers in the Royals final 10 games to be their first player to reach 30 since Jermaine Dye hit 33 in 2000. Butlers previous career bests were 20 homers in 2009 and 95 RBIs in 2011.
"Weve still got some games left," he said, "so its not over with. Getting 100 RBIs is a great number to get behind you. Now, you just keep playing."
Perez on the mend
Catchy Salvy Perez was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Sunday. Perez missed the first two games of the Indians series with two bruised hands, and he sat Sunday to allow Adam Moore to catch starting pitcher Jake Odorizzis major-league debut.
Yost said Perez was feeling "fine" Sunday, and he expects him to return to the lineup for Mondays series opener in Detroit.
Moore, promoted Sept. 16 from Omaha, was Odorizzis catcher in the Pacific Coast League.
A date in Detroit
The Royals are on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but they will still have their say in the postseason race.
The Royals open a four-game series in Detroit on Monday. Heading into Sunday, the Tigers were a mere half-game back of the White Sox in the AL Central standings.
By winning 12 of 18 games against the White Sox this season, the Royals have already put their stamp on the division race. Now they have a chance to do the White Sox a favor as they face the division-leading Tigers.
"We dont owe them anything but our best effort," Yost said. "Whatever comes with that, comes with that. But they will get (our best effort)."
The Royals swept the Tigers in a home series from Aug. 28-30 the last meeting between the two teams. The Tigers lead the season series, 7-4.
It was 21 years ago Monday -- Sept. 24, 1991 -- that Danny Tartabull hit his 30th homer of the season in a 5-4 victory at Oakland. In doing so, he became the only player in franchise history to hit 30 or more homers in two seasons.
Tartabull hit 34 in 1987 and finished 1991 with 31.
Eight other players have one 30-homer season: Steve Balboni, 36 in 1985; Gary Gaetti, 35 in 1995; John Mayberry, 34 in 1975; Dean Palmer, 34 in 1998; Jermaine Dye, 33 in 2000; Bo Jackson, 32 in 1989; George Brett, 30 in 1985; and Chili Davis, 30 in 1997.