Butler and the Royals conclude the road portion of their schedule Sunday against the Cleveland Indians .
Kansas City (71-87) needs to win two of its final four games to avoid a fourth straight 90-loss season. The Royals, who have lost at least 90 games in seven of the last eight years, close the season at home against AL Central-leading Detroit.
They had to fight for their latest victory - a 7-6 win in 14 innings Saturday. Kansas City squandered a four-run lead and the Indians tied it in the ninth on Asdrubal Cabrera 's two-run double.
However, Tony Abreu 's two-out single in the 14th won it for the Royals, who snapped a six-game skid."It was weighing on me," manager Ned Yost said of the losing streak. "I don't like going through that, especially late in the season."
While the odds may not be in the Royals' favor to avoid 90 losses, Butler has made things interesting over the last few weeks. He's batting .390 (16 for 41) with nine RBIs during a 10-game hit streak.
Saturday's loss ended a three-game win streak for Cleveland (66-92), which has split its first two contests under interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr.
The Indians went 3 for 21 with runners in scoring position Saturday, failing to score with the bases loaded and no out in the 14th."Any time you have as many chances as I did to send the other team on a walk-off (win) as I did, it's certainly frustrating," said Casey Kotchman , who grounded out to end the game and hit into an inning-ending double play in the 12th that stranded a runner at third.
Cleveland will try to win a home series for the first time since late July when it hands the ball to Zach McAllister (5-8, 4.25 ERA), who is 0-5 with a 5.75 ERA in his last eight starts - seven of which Cleveland has lost.
McAllister gave up two runs, four hits and struck out seven in six innings of a 5-4 loss to Chicago on Monday, although he didn't factor in the decision.
The right-hander was charged with five runs over six innings of a 5-2 loss to the Royals on Aug. 1 in his first appearance against them.
Struggling Luke Hochevar (8-15, 5.43) counters for Kansas City. He has lost his last two starts and is 1-6 with a 6.31 ERA in the last nine.
Hochevar gave up six runs and 12 hits - matching a season high - in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to Detroit on Monday. He has an 8.23 ERA in five starts this month.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 6.61 ERA against the Indians this year, winning the last two matchups.
Shin-Soo Choo is hitting .556 (15 for 27) with three homers and four doubles against Hochevar.
|Kansas City Royals|
|September 28, 2012||Eric Hosmer||Day-to-Day||Strained right shoulder|
|September 18, 2012||Luis Mendoza||Day-to-Day||Strep throat|
|September 14, 2012||Lorenzo Cain||Day-to-Day||Left game - Strained right hamstring|
|August 18, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Broken left thumb|
|August 17, 2012||Chris Getz||Day-to-Day||Left game - fractured left thumb|
|July 28, 2012||Mike Moustakas||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right knee|
|September 27, 2012||Ubaldo Jimenez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|September 26, 2012||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained back|
|September 19, 2012||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
|September 15, 2012||Jason Donald||Day-to-Day||Right forearm contusion|
|September 13, 2012||Michael Brantley||Day-to-Day||Sore left pectoral muscle|
|September 09, 2012||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right wrist|
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Asdrubal Cabrera knew a fastball was coming.
He hit it for a grand slam.
Cabrera capped a 10-run fifth inning with his second career grand slam and the Cleveland Indians routed the Kansas City Royals 15-3 Sunday.
"It was a fastball and I was not surprised," said Cabrera, who had three hits and scored three runs as Cleveland improved to 2-1 with interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr.
"They pitched me the same way every time this series," Cabrera said. "First pitch, curveball, then a changeup and then fastball. So I hit it."
Zach McAllister (6-8) benefited from the Indians tying a season high in runs and hits, 19. It was their ninth double-digit hit total in 10 games. They've won six of them, including a 15-4 victory in Kansas City a week ago.
McAllister pitched five-hit ball over 6 2-3 innings, allowing three runs.
"It was nice to have all those runs," said the right-hander, who won for the first time in nine starts since beating Boston on Aug. 11. The rookie started 4-1 with a 3.17 ERA in eight starts after being called up from Triple-A Columbus. Then he was part of Cleveland's second-half struggles.
"It's been a big learning year, both good and bad," said McAllister, who has yielded three runs or fewer in 16 of 22 outings. "Today, I didn't have my best stuff, but got through it."
The Indians are 5-2 after a disastrous 12-41 stretch dropped them out of the AL Central race and cost manager Manny Acta his job. General manager Chris Antonetti will interview Alomar and former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona soon for the fulltime position and expects a few other candidates to be in the search process.
The 10-run inning was Cleveland's first since doing it in Kansas City in a 19-1 win on May 16, 2011. The Indians had not scored 10 in an inning at home since an 11-run first inning against the Royals on Aug. 13, 2006.
Cleveland went 9 for 20 with runners in scoring position after stranding 20 men on base in a 7-6 loss in 14 innings on Saturday.
"That's baseball," Alomar said. "We took what they gave us and kept the line moving, tried not to do too much."
Royals starter Luke Hochevar (8-16) was tagged for nine runs over 4 2-3 innings.
"It got away in a hurry," manager Ned Yost said after the Royals' seventh loss in eight games. "A 10-run fifth is not good for your business."
Lou Marson 's two-out RBI single put Cleveland ahead 1-0 in the second.
Cleveland broke it open in the fifth. Shin-Soo Choo doubled to start the rally and later had a two-run single. Jason Kipnis and Jack Hannahan each had RBI doubles. Other runs scored on a forceout by Casey Kotchman and when Jason Donald was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Cabrera had a bunt single in the midst of the rally before connecting for his slam off lefty reliever Everett Teaford .
"The third baseman was playing back, so I took it," Cabrera said of the bunt. "I just wanted to get on base and keep it going."
Hochevar dropped to 1-7 in 11 starts since beating the Indians on July 31. The right-hander gave up nine hits and three walks in his final start of a wildly inconsistent season. In 21 outings, he had a 2.88 ERA. In 11 other starts, he lasted only a total of 48 innings and had a 13.88 ERA.
Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer, his 13th, in the sixth for Kansas City. Tony Abreu 's RBI single made it 11-3 in the seventh.
Matt LaPorta had a two-run double in the Indians' seventh and Cord Phelps a bases-loaded RBI single in the eighth when another run scored on a wild pitch by Louis Coleman .
NOTES: Royals 3B Mike Moustakas left in the sixth with left groin tightness. Yost said Moustakas likely would have stayed in a close game. ... Kansas City won the season series for the first time since 2003, going 10-8. ... Cleveland has totaled 104 runs in the fifth, their best inning overall. ... Cabrera had his eighth game of three hits; Hannahan got three hits for the first time this year. ... The Indians open a season-ending three-game series at home against Chicago on Monday. LHP Hector Santiago (3-1) will start for the White Sox, three games behind AL Central leading Detroit. Cleveland counters with RHP Corey Kluber (2-4). ... Kansas City hosts the first-place Tigers for three games. LHP Bruce Chen (11-13) will oppose Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (9-12) on Monday.