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Kansas City Royals' Billy Butler (16) is congratulated after scoring on a single by Justin Maxwell in the fourth inning during Saturday's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on April 19, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

JOHN SLEEZER | The Kansas City Star

Kansas City Royals' Billy Butler (16) is congratulated after scoring on a single by Justin Maxwell in the fourth inning during Saturday's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on April 19, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Royals win fifth straight with 5-4 victory over Twins

A week ago, the Royals’ bullpen blowup reached its most perplexing stage. After a loss at Minnesota, the group’s ERA had ballooned to 5.13. This from a pen considered by some to be baseball’s best last year.


Royals designated hitter Billy Butler is hitting just .193 this season.

Ann Heisenfelt | AP

Royals designated hitter Billy Butler is hitting just .193 this season.

Struggling Royals DH Billy Butler hasn’t been plugged in at the plate

Billy Butler hits baseballs. Hard. This is what he does. His father wore out a shoulder throwing him endless batting practice as a kid. Billy has worn out countless gloves and batting cage nets and daylight hours hitting baseballs. Hard. This is who he is.


Sporting KC’s Dominic Dwyer (center) got to celebrate two goals Saturday. He’s scored four goals in his last four matches.

Brian Davidson | Special to the Star

Sporting KC’s Dominic Dwyer (center) got to celebrate two goals Saturday. He’s scored four goals in his last four matches.

Sporting KC fires up its offense and buries Montreal Impact 4-0

Peter Vermes walked through the Sporting Kansas City locker room late Saturday night — long after his club had completed a satisfying 4-0 victory against visiting Montreal — and planted himself in front of a wall-mounted TV showing another MLS game. Aurelien Collin was already watching.


Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) could go almost anywhere in the first round.

Garry Jones | The Associated Press

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) could go almost anywhere in the first round.

Chiefs might draft a quarterback this year

It might just be the typical predraft pump fake, all being spewed by coaches and executives trying to dupe each other in the lead up to the NFL Draft.


Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk throws a pass during the first half of Missouri's Black and Gold spring NCAA college football scrimmage Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

L.G. Patterson | AP

Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk throws a pass during the first half of Missouri's Black and Gold spring NCAA college football scrimmage Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

In Black and Gold Game, Maty Mauk shows he’s ready to take Missouri’s reins

As spring games go, Missouri’s Black and Gold Game on Saturday at Memorial Stadium was a thriller.


For the fourth time since becoming Missouri’s athletic director in 1998, Mike Alden is in the market for a new men’s basketball coach after Frank Haith jumped ship Friday for the same gig at Tulsa.

File photo

For the fourth time since becoming Missouri’s athletic director in 1998, Mike Alden is in the market for a new men’s basketball coach after Frank Haith jumped ship Friday for the same gig at Tulsa.

MU’s Mike Alden under pressure to make quick, smart basketball coach hire

Mike Alden has been here before.


Kansas City Royals' Justin Maxwell (27) celebrates after scoring on a single by Norichika Aoki in the fourth inning during Saturday's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on April 19, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

JOHN SLEEZER | The Kansas City Star

Kansas City Royals' Justin Maxwell (27) celebrates after scoring on a single by Norichika Aoki in the fourth inning during Saturday's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on April 19, 2014 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Firsts for Billy Butler, Justin Maxwell fuel Royals’ rally

For Billy Butler and Justin Maxwell, the Royals’ 5-4 victory Saturday over the Twins marked some firsts.

Kansas State committee denies transfer appeal of women’s basketball player Leticia Romero

If Leticia Romero chooses to transfer from Kansas State, she will have to without the university’s blessing.


John Braun used the timer on his camera to take a “selfie” of him and one of the turkeys he shot with his bow.

| Submitted photo

John Braun used the timer on his camera to take a “selfie” of him and one of the turkeys he shot with his bow.

Bow hunter gets an up-close look at the turkeys he pursues

Looking for proof of John Braun’s success bow hunting turkeys? Study his photo gallery, which shows him posing with each of the 29 birds he took over the last 12 years.

Department of Conservation reduces deer limits in hopes of rebuilding struggling herd

The message came across loud and clear.

FC Kansas City suffers first loss of the season

For the second straight game the Blues were held to just one goal despite having several opportunities.


Hurdler Michael Stigler (second from right) had a time of 49.35 seconds Saturday, the best time by a collegian this year and the fifth-fastest time in the world in 2014.

RICH SUGG | The Kansas City Star

Hurdler Michael Stigler (second from right) had a time of 49.35 seconds Saturday, the best time by a collegian this year and the fifth-fastest time in the world in 2014.

Kansas’ Stigler, who blazed through the hurdles at KU Relays, has designs on the Olympics

Michael Stigler is a college junior who may one day find himself on an Olympic medal podium. But more than two years ago, he had another position in mind: Defensive back.

North Kansas City’s Bailey wins girls high school high jump at KU relays

NeKiesha Bailey has never been one to sell herself short. She joined the North Kansas City track team two years ago, then promptly told coaches she would graduate as the school record holder in the high jump.

Track at Rock Chalk Park beckons to runners

The foundation was built with butyl rubber and polyurethane, the materials bonding together to forge a force-reduction layer on the new KU track at Rock Chalk Park. If that sounds complicated, here’s a translation for track neophytes: The track surface at Rock Chalk Park was engineered for speed.


Losing the 400 meters on Saturday brought a grimace from KU’s Diamond Dixon.

RICH SUGG | The Star

Losing the 400 meters on Saturday brought a grimace from KU’s Diamond Dixon.

Daniels wins battle of former Jayhawk teammates at KU Relays

It was a battle between former teammates.

The Rundown: Big shift in baseball is toward more defensive shifts

A fan of bygone days may have thought the Houston Astros had gone crazy during their three-game series last week against the Royals.


Running in this year’s Boston Marathon are these Kansas City area runners (from left): 63-year-old Marc Hardin of Lenexa, 32-year-old Jason Parr of Kansas City, 47-year-old Jeff Maher of Overland Park, 27-year-old Ali Hatfield Mohsen of Mission Woods and 68-year-old Bobby Fernandez of Shawnee.

Chris Ochsner | The Kansas City Star

Running in this year’s Boston Marathon are these Kansas City area runners (from left): 63-year-old Marc Hardin of Lenexa, 32-year-old Jason Parr of Kansas City, 47-year-old Jeff Maher of Overland Park, 27-year-old Ali Hatfield Mohsen of Mission Woods and 68-year-old Bobby Fernandez of Shawnee.

In 2014, the Boston Marathon is a very human race

Monday marks the 13th anniversary of the stroke that brought Marc Hardin to his knees. But the gritty longtime marathoner eventually began running again.

Live updates from MU's spring football game

Tod Palmer, The Star's sports writer covering Mizzou, tweets from the Tigers' final spring football scrimmage, along with others.


MU quarterback Maty Mauk (left) and coach Gary Pinkel

ALLISON LONG | the kansas City Star

MU quarterback Maty Mauk (left) and coach Gary Pinkel

Laden with new personnel, MU offense to be tested in spring game

Missouri’s first-string offense will start the Black and Gold Game trailing 14-0 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.


The Royals' Mike Moustakas (8) was congratulated  by Billy Butler (16) after Moustakas' two-run homer in the sixth inning during Friday's game against the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.

JOHN SLEEZER | The Kansas City Star

The Royals' Mike Moustakas (8) was congratulated by Billy Butler (16) after Moustakas' two-run homer in the sixth inning during Friday's game against the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.

Alex Gordon, Jason Vargas, Mike Moustakas help Royals blank Twins to move over. 500

These were the Royals of the preseason promise.