Hot streak against Angels helps Royals’ Butler raise average 40 points

Billy Butler raised his average 40 points, from .228 to .268, by going eight for 13 in three games against the Angels. His output included three doubles, a home run and nine RBIs.

“I’ve been hitting the ball hard consistently for most of the season,” he said. “I had a bad week, week and a half there, but before that, I was hitting balls hard right at people. I’m just finding a few holes now.”

Butler had five RBIs in Monday’s opener before driving in two runs Tuesday and two more on Wednesday. It’s been nearly 10 years since a visiting player had multiple RBIs in each game of a series at Angel Stadium.

The last player to do it was Baltimore third baseman Tony Batista, who had a two-three-two burst from May 20-22, 2003.

More multiples

Left fielder Alex Gordon went three for four in Wednesday’s victory and now leads the majors with 19 multi-hit games.

Three players, all in the American League, had 18 multi-hit games prior to Thursday’s games: Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado and Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Gordon raised his overall average to .331 and is batting .429 (12 for 28) in seven games since shifting from first to third in the lineup.

Rehab updates

The club’s two Tommy John rehab pitchers, Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino, remain “on protocol” — trainer Nick Kenney’s term — at the organization’s year-round complex in Surprise, Ariz.

“That means,” Kenney said, “they’re doing what we expect them to do at this point.”

Duffy’s schedule called for a four-inning appearance, or 60-65 pitches, on Thursday in an extended spring training game. Paulino is slotted for two innings on Friday.

Kenney’s protocol also projects each pitcher to be conditioned for five or six innings on the one-year anniversary of their surgeries. That is June 13 for Duffy, and July 3 for Paulino.

Barring setbacks, each should be ready to begin their official minor-league rehab assignments at that point. Those assignments are limited to 30 days for pitchers.

Looking back

It was 30 years ago Friday — May 17, 1983 — that Memphis, Tenn., real estate developer Avron Fogelman purchased 49 percent of the Royals from then sole-owner Ewing Kauffman.

Fogelman would later purchase an additional 1 percent of the club and become a full co-owner before business setbacks forced him to sell it all back to Kauffman in 1991.