Published June 27, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Billy Butler greeted reliever Burke Badenhop with a solo home run in the eighth, powering Kansas City to a 5-4 victory on a scorching Wednesday afternoon and a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar also homered for the Royals, who got their first three-game home sweep of the Rays since 2001.
Aaron Crow (1-1), the fifth Royals pitcher, was the winner after getting two outs in the eighth.
The Rays had tied it 4-4 in the top of the eighth after Carlos Pena reached leading off on an error that left first base umpire Brian Gorman wiping off blood. Pena's hot grounder glanced off Eric Hosmer's glove and struck Gorman on the left side of the face as he was signaling the ball fair.
The veteran ump cleaned some blood off his face but stayed in the game after being attended to by the Royals' trainer. Then Tim Collins walked Jeff Keppinger and Ben Zobrist unloaded a two-run triple.
Zobrist was 3 for 4 with three RBIs but made three outs on the bases. He was thrown out twice at home plate trying to score from third on ground balls.
Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 22 opportunities.
Badenhop (1-2) recorded only one out after starter Matt Moore labored through 7 1-3 innings, giving up 10 hits and four runs.
Moustakas, who had two home runs on Sunday, hit the first pitch he saw from Moore in the first inning for his 13th home run. Escobar, who has seven multihit games in his last 12 outings, was 3 for 3 with a double, a single and a solo home run that made it 2-0 in the third.
Yuniesky Betancourt had a two-run single in the fifth as the Royals completed a 3-3 home stand after getting swept by St. Louis.
Just hours after being recalled from Triple-a Omaha, Everett Teaford was charged with two runs on four hits in 5 innings. The left-hander was relieved by Kelvin Herrera with runners at first and second in the sixth and the Rays made it 4-2 on RBI singles from Keppinger and Zobrist before Zobrist ended the inning attempting to steal second.
NOTES: The Royals won't have another home game for 16 days. They open a 10-day, 11-game trip on Friday in Minnesota and then take four days off for the All-Star break. ... The Rays will play 17 of their next 21 at home. ... As soon as the last out was recorded on Wednesday, the makeover began for the All-Star game and festivities in Kauffman Stadium. ... Moustakas made an outstanding play at third to save a run, stopping Elliot Johnson's hot smash with two out and throwing him out while Sean Rodriguez ran home from third.