KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS / AP) — Billy Butler homered and drove in three runs and right fielder Nori Aoki threw out two runners in the same inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
The Royals, who have not been in the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series, hold a half game lead for the second AL wild card.
Butler, who is hitting .423 in the past seven games, homered with two out in the first off Madison Bumgarner (13-9).
Butler singled home the go-ahead run in the two-run sixth, which was aided by throwing errors on Giants infielders Michael Morse and Matt Duffy. Alex Gordon had an RBI single.
The Giants scored twice in the third on Joaquin Arias’ double and Matt Duffy’s single. Aoki prevented a bigger inning, throwing out Hunter Pence at third and Arias at home.
The Giants out hit the Royals 12-7, but self-destructed with three errors and base running blunders.
Bumgarner went the distance, allowing four runs on seven hits, while walking none and striking out five. His road scoreless streak was snapped at 17 innings.
Jason Frasor (3-1), the second of five Royals pitchers, threw a spotless sixth, striking out two. Greg Holland pitched a flawless ninth for his American League-leading 33rd save in 35 opportunities. It was Holland’s 100th career save.
Giants: First baseman Brandon Belt was placed on the concussion list for the second time within a month. Belt missed 12 games after a July 19 concussion before being activated Aug. 2, but left the game Wednesday with a headache.
Royals: Left-hander Jason Vargas made his second start after a July 9 appendectomy, giving up nine hits and two runs in five innings.
Giants: Tim Hudson will be making his 11th career start against the Royals, but his first since 2004 when he was with Oakland.
Royals: James Shields, who has a 1.99 ERA in his past six starts, has a 26-12 career record with a 3.15 ERA in August.
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