SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Billy Butler banged an RBI double off the right-field wall and added a single to get his Spring Training game action off to a vigorous start in Thursday's intrasquad game.
But it was a defensive play at first base that set off the biggest reaction from his Royals teammates. In the last inning, he fielded Greg Golson's bouncer and glove-flipped the ball to pitcher Kelvin Herrera covering first to retire Golson.
"That was one of those tweener plays. I didn't have time to go in my glove and I had to get it to Kelvin and I'm glad he adjusted to it because it wasn't perfect," Butler said.
Butler played just 11 games at first base last season including only three after Eric Hosmer arrived in May but he might see more time in the field this season. Manager Ned Yost plans to give Hosmer a break once in a while by switching him and Butler between first base and designated hitter.
Butler was happy to get the game action going.
"I'm just getting the rust out of me. I got a couple of hits and I'm just trying to get comfortable again. I'm definitely not completely comfortable. It's the first day you get the tunnel out of there, the L-screen [off the mound] and it looks like a real game," Butler said. "It's good to get a couple of those before the games start on Sunday."
The Royals open the Cactus League season against the Texas Rangers at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Surprise Stadium.