Mike Moustakas dealt the finishing blow, but Billy Butler had his best game of the 2013 season to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 7-6 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday afternoon.
Moustakas took a 13th-inning offering from Seattle’s Chance Ruffin over the right field wall, and with one swing, ended a marathon game after 4 hours and 17 minutes. The Royals third baseman has had a rough season thus far, posting just a .291 on-base percentage, but his swing led the Royals to the win that gave the franchise its best record through 140 games in 20 years.
As for Butler, the designated hitter went a sparkling 5-for-5 on the day, bashing Mariners pitching at every turn before being removed for a late pinch-runner. All five base-hits were singles for Butler, but he hit the ball hard repeatedly, and drove in his 72nd run of the year.
In the grand scheme, this was just one win for the Royals, but small victories (like one that propelled them to that aforementioned 140-game record) are big for a developing franchise. There is a (very) faint chance for the Royals to make a run at the final Wild Card spot as they trail by 5 games, but more realistically, it’s time to look toward what could be a bright future.