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Billy Butler blasts back into the Royals’ lineup

07/26/2014 4:17 PM

07/26/2014 5:00 PM

No pinch-hitting for Billy Butler on Saturday.

One day after providing the game-winning home run as a pinch-hitter in the Royals’ 6-4 victory over the Indians, Butler returned to the lineup at first base and is batting sixth.

Butler’s 422-foot two-run shot in the eighth inning off John Axford was only Butler’s fourth round-tripper of the season, but the blast was well-timed. The Royals had lost a 4-1 lead and the prospects of extra innings with a limited bullpen loomed.

Butler likened the home run to the other pinch-hit home run of his career. It also was a big moment, a solo shot in the ninth inning against the Cardinals’ Jason Motte that sent the game to extra innings. The Royals also won that game.

“I’m sure this one will overtake it,” Butler said. “It was more recent.”

Here’s the Royals lineup against Indians starter Zach McAllister, who is 3-5 with a 5.28 ERA but was the winning pitcher against Kansas City on April 21. He was recalled from Class AAA Columbus to make this start.

1.Nori Aoki, DH

2. Omar Infante, 2B

3. Alex Gordon, LF

4. Salvador Perez, C

5. Mike Moustakas, 3B

6. Billy Butler, 1B

7. Lorenzo Cain, RF

8. Jarrod Dyson, CF

9. Alcides Escobar, SS

Jeremy Guthrie starts on the mound for the Royals. He’s 5-9 with a 4.56 ERA this season and has dropped his last three decisions.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

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