Does Royals manager Ned Yost second guess himself?
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
“Sure I do,” he said.
Yost did after Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Tigers, when he sent Jeremy Guthrie out to pitch the eighth inning.
“If you have 10 decisions like that, nine times out of 10 you’d probably do it the same way,” Yost said. “That was probably one when I wouldn’t have.”
The Royals had tied the game in the top of the eighth, but then Guthrie surrendered the lead on a home run by the Tigers’ Alex Avila, his second of the game.
Guthrie had dodged danger throughout the afternoon, and the safe move there may have been to turn the game over a bullpen that leads the American League with a 2.55 ERA.
“He had given up 13 hits, but the thing about the game is Jeremy Guthrie always finds a way to get out of whatever trouble gets in,” Yost said. “He did it again yesterday … He went through the meat of the order in the seventh inning and looked very strong doing it.”
Butler is Clemente nominee
Billy Butler is the Royals’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a major-league player for his contributions on and off the field.
Butler was cited for his work in Kansas City outreach programs, including his service to the Bishop Sullivan Center which provides emergency services.
Also, Butler and his wife, Katie, created the Hit-It-A-Ton program in 2008 and Butler works with corporate sponsors that match his donation for every home run and double he hits. Entering this season, the program has raised $380,000 and provided an average of 1,194 meals for families each month and allowed the Bishop Sullivan center to serve nearly 300,000 meals in the community kitchen.
The center also receives proceeds from Butler’s Hit-It-A-Ton barbecue sauce, unveiled this season.
“I take a lot of pride in it,” Butler said. “My wife and I have two daughters at home, and I want to show it’s the right thing to do. I’ve been given a great opportunity and I want to take advantage of it.”
Willie Mays was the award’s first winner in 1971. The award was named for Clemente after 1972, when the former Pirates star died in a plane crash while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
The Royals are asking fans attending Wednesday’s game to donate new and gently-used baseball equipment to benefit the baseball program at Cristo Rey Kansas City. Francys Escobar, the wife of Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, and Monica Mendoza, wife of pitcher Luis Mendoza, along with Cristo Rey volunteers will collect the equipment outside the Kia Diamond Club from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fans can also make cash donations in exchange for autograph baseballs and photo cards.
Several Royals players, including Lorenzo Cain and Danny Duffy are scheduled to appear Thursday at Kansas Sampler, across from Oak Park Mall at 9750 Quivera Rd. in Overland Park, for Royals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre’s program, Gloves for Kids. The players will sign autographs for fans who donate at least $25 toward new gloves. The event will be split into two one-hour sessions. For more information, visit royals.com/glovesforkids.
Omaha in title game
Class AAA Omaha, having lost Yordano Ventura, will start left-hander Chris Dwyer on Tuesday against Tampa Bay’s Durham affiliate in the Triple-A Championship game in Allentown, Pa.
Durham is the International League champion and plans to start former Royals farmhand Jake Odorizzi, whom the Rays obtained last December in the James Shields/Wil Myers trade.
The game can be seen at 6 p.m. Central on the NBC Sports Network.
Dwyer was 10-11 with a 3.55 ERA in 29 regular-season games. He worked two innings last Tuesday in the first game of the Pacific Coast League championship series against the Los Angeles Angels’ Salt Lake affiliate before rain forced a suspension.
The Storm Chasers won their second PCL crown in three years Saturday with an 10-5 victory at Salt Lake. Lane Adams’ three-run triple keyed a six-run eighth inning. Omaha won the best-of-five series in four games.
To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/BlairKerkhoff.