Butler leads Royals in romp of Diamondbacks
Monday, February 25, 2013
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Billy Butler wanted to talk more about Adam Moore’s feat than his own stellar performance.
Butler had two hits, drove in three runs and scored twice as the Kansas City Royals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 16-4 Monday.
But he was most impressed with Moore’s at-bat in the fifth. Moore pinch-hit for Butler after Max Ramirez had a pinch-hit grand slam and sent a drive soaring over the left field wall.
“He’s definitely got the most power I’ve seen after hitting that one,” Butler said. “That ball was killed. I think that ball hit a car in the parking lot in left as far as that one was.
“It literally might be one of the furthest balls I’ve seen hit,” Butler added. “I didn’t see it land, so I don’t even have an estimated distance on this one. If you were anywhere in the stadium, you knew that one was gone from the sound.”
It was Moore’s second home run in his fifth spring at-bat.
“I knew it was gone,” Moore said. “I didn’t pay attention to where it landed. I just got a good pitch, inner half, 2-1 count and put a good swing on it. The rest took care of itself.
“It’s only four games, but at the same time you’ve got to make them all count. I feel confident. I feel good at the plate, getting pitches I can hit, seeing the ball up in the zone and just letting it take care of itself,” Moore said. “I know I’ve got to keep this going the rest of the spring.”
Moore is competing with George Kottaras and Brett Hayes for the backup catcher job.
“I’ve hit some long balls before, but I don’t think I can hit a ball that far,” said Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. “I don’t have that in my arsenal.”
Diamondbacks starter Randall Delgado, who was acquired from Atlanta in the Justin Upton trade Jan. 24, gave up five runs on six hits in the first inning. There is only one vacancy in the Arizona rotation.
“It’s going to be hard for me to get that fifth starter’s spot,” Delgado said. “Everybody has to compete for something. I felt physically great, but obviously a little out of control, but it’s the first day. I missed my location. My command was not good.
“I just forget it. This is my first game. I just try to keep focus for the next one,” he said. “It’s not like on the first day you’re going to be comfortable with everything.”
Butler, a career .300 hitter, contributed a RBI single in the Royals’ five-run first and a two-run double in the fourth inning.
“I’m happy to be in there feeling comfortable,” Butler said. “I saw the ball good. It took me a couple of games. Camp is a little longer this year. I’m just kind of easing into it.”
The Royals stroked 19 hits and went 10-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Notes: RHP Ian Kennedy, who has won 36 games the past two years, has been selected to start the Diamondbacks opener April 1 against St. Louis. Manager Kirk Gibson said RHP Trevor Cahill, LHP Wade Miley and RHP Brandon McCarthy would follow Kennedy in the rotation. ... Royals LF Alex Gordon was scratched with stiffness in his lower back. Manager Ned Yost said he has a “one percent concern” Gordon’s sore back is serious. .... Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero was scratched with a swelling in his right thumb. ... Royals LHP Everett Teaford will throw his first bullpen today since being shutdown with a sore shoulder.
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