KANSAS CITY - It's a rare day when backup catcher Drew Butera and backup infielder Christian Colon find their names in the starting lineup.
But Royals manager Ned Yost says it's essential to have Butera and Colon contribute when it occurs.
Colon and Butera certainly contributed Sunday, each ripping run-scoring doubles in a four-run seventh that broke open a tight game and allowed the Royals to cruise to a 6-1 win over the Orioles.
"It's important to get guys on the bench to contribute," Yost said. "You have to be able to spell [Salvador Perez] and Omar [Infante].
"Butera had a great spring and we always knew he was very good defensively. And Christian, we have confidence in him. Those guys did a great job today."
Colon doubled in Alex Gordon in the seventh, pushing the Royals' lead to 3-1. It's not easy sitting all week and then facing game conditions.
"You do what you can," Colon said. "You try to treat BP [batting practice] like it's a game, or when you're in the cage, try to make it feel like game conditions."
Colon competed for the starting job at second base in Spring Training, but fell victim to some tough luck when several of his outs were hard line-outs. Some of that bad luck has carried into the regular season.
Colon lined out earlier in Sunday's game before his double found space in the left-field corner.
"That's baseball," Colon said. "I hit one really hard in Oakland. Hit one really hard today. But so did everyone else. [Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon], they all hit balls hard right at people. Then at some point, balls start falling in."
Later in the inning, Butera hit a double to right-center to plate a run. And then Butera took his helmet off and produced a hair flip, to the crowd's delight.
"It started last year," Butera said. "Like everything else, it was Salvy's [Perez] idea. He'll stand at the railing of the dugout and yell at me until I do it."
Butera has found himself in the same boat as Colon: Trying to stay focused during the week until his chance arrives.
"You try to stay as prepared as you can," Butera said. "It's not hard for me to keep the competitive edge. I feel like I always have that."