PHILADELPHIA -- Billy Butler hit his first career grand slam Sunday to give the Royals a 6-4 lead in the fifth inning ... eventually.
Butler hit a ball into the flower bed in left field at Citizens Bank Park, which offers a peculiar bit of architecture that occasionally leads to this kind of confusion. Just behind the left-field wall is a flower bed, and a fence behind that sits just in front of the fans in the first row. A ball into the flower bed is a home run; but occasionally a ball will ricochet off the second fence and give the umpires something to talk about.
With the Royals trailing, 4-2, in the fifth, and Phillies starter Cole Hamels seemingly in control, Chris Getz led off with a double. James Shields, swinging away after popping up a bunt attempt in the third, struck out. Alex Gordon singled up the middle; only a diving stop by Jimmy Rollins kept the ball from center field and kept Getz from scoring. Hamels walked Alcides Escobar to load the bases for Butler.
Butler drove a ball into the flower bed in left, just over the glove of a leaping Domonic Brown. The ball bounced back onto the field of play, and third-base umpire Jeff Kellogg signaled that the ball was still in play. Butler pulled up at second with what was originally ruled a double, but Royals manager Ned Yost was out quickly to argue the call.
The umpires gathered to review it, as Butler tried to signal "home run" while he waited at second, and came to the correct call of a home run.