Kansas City, MO – Billy Butler wasn't invited to partake in the Home Run Derby, but the first baseman showed his power Wednesday by hitting a game-winning blast in the ninth inning to give the Royals an 8-7 triumph over the Mariners.
"I just got a good pitch to hit and I didn't miss there at the end," Butler said. "Things like that tonight tend to have a positive reaction on the team and that's what we're looking for."
Butler's leadoff shot off Josh Kinney (0-1) landed in the seats in left- center and capped a 3-for-3 night for the All-Star slugger. It was the second career walk-off home run of Butler's career and snapped Kansas City's three- game slide in the process.
"Obviously I'm trying to keep the ball away from that guy," said Kinney. "If he's going to do that, you want him to hit it to right field and the ball just ran right over the plate."
Alex Gordon went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Lorenzo Cain belted a two-run homer in the win, which was credited to Greg Holland (4-2) for throwing a perfect ninth.
Seattle had won the first two games in the four-game series and came back from a 7-3 deficit to make things interesting.
Kyle Seager and Casper Wells each homered for the Mariners, whose starter, Kevin Millwood, was charged with seven runs on 10 hits over five frames.
Royals starter Bruce Chen wasn't much better, surrendering four runs on seven over in 5 1/3 innings.
Wells slid in safely ahead of Jeff Francoeur's throw from right field on Miguel Olivo's single, cutting the Mariners' deficit to 7-4 in the sixth, and an inning later Seattle plated three more to tie it.
Jesus Montero hit a dribbler up the middle to knock in Ichiro Suzuki and Wells with one out in the seventh, then scored the tying run when Seager doubled over the head of Francoeur.
The Mariners nearly went ahead in the eighth, but Chris Getz, playing in at second base, threw out Brendan Ryan on a close play at the plate.
Seager hooked a solo homer inside the right-field foul pole in the second inning, and the Royals answered with three runs in the bottom half.
Mike Moustakas doubled in Butler, Brayan Pena's groundout scored Cain and Getz laid down a bunt single with two outs to knock in Moustakas.
Wells' two-run blast in the fourth tied it, but Gordon knocked in Pena and Getz in the home half with a double to left.
Cain found the seats down the left-field line for a two-run blast in the fifth, extending the lead to 7-3.
Both teams recorded 14 hits...The Mariners have not committed an error in 10 straight games, one off the club record...Millwood is winless in his last eight starts (0-3)...Suzuki and Wells each had three hits.