The Kansas City Royals keep moving forward in the American League playoff races despite the fact that they did next to nothing before the trade deadline. The AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers were aggressive in adding David Price, but the Royals have actually gained some ground on them since then, as they now sit at just 2.5 games back.
Kansas City has also moved up in the Wild Card race. They’re currently in the second spot, but the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners are right on their heels. The Royals have been able to climb over teams who made bigger roster improvements with improved play from the players with which they stood pat.
Underachievers are starting to play up to their potential, giving the Royals the much-needed boost to stay in the hunt. Billy Butler’s bounce-back was on display Friday night against the San Francisco Giants. Butler hit his fourth home run in his last 13 games with a two-run shot in the second, and he hit the go-ahead RBI single in the sixth.
Butler has more than doubled his surprisingly low home run total to seven in the past two weeks, and he’s lifted his batting average to .279. It could not have come at a better time for Kansas City. With the 4-2 victory over the Giants on Friday, the Royals have now won 13 of 16 to put the team in great position for a postseason run.
Butler’s production at the plate has been a huge reason why, but so has his work in the field. The Royals’ regular designated hitter has been filling in for the injured Eric Hosmer at first base, and he has yet to make an error since the move back in late July.