Lawrence Butler

Lawrence Butler blasts first MLB homer in A's loss to Cardinals

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Athletics outfielder Lawrence Butler connected for his first MLB homer in his fifth career game after hitting 15 homers in the minors this season.

Butler got the A's on the board in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium, launching a 437-foot two-run homer to right field. Unfortunately for Oakland, it wasn't nearly enough as they lost 6-2.

The two RBI also were the first runs driven in of Butler's MLB career. The A's No. 5 overall prospect finished the game 1-for-4 and now is hitting .211 so far with the A's.

"That was an impressive swing," A's manager Mark Kotsay told reporters after the game. "I'm not sure the distance of the home run but I know it was a lot further than I ever hit a ball. Kid's got some power. He hit some balls like that at Triple-A. He's taking competitive at-bats."

Butler told reporters that he traded a couple of signed baseballs to the kid who caught his first home run ball, and that he plans to keep it in a glass case for safekeeping.

"It was a surreal feeling," Butler said. "You hit home runs throughout your whole career, but first big league one is very special, so it was a very cool moment."

Butler's homer was too little, too late because the Cardinals teed off on A's starter Spenser Watkins, who made his team debut after being claimed off waivers on Aug. 8.

Watkins allowed four earned runs in the first inning and the A's weren't able to recover. In 4 1/3 innings, the 30-year-old right-hander allowed seven hits, five earned runs and walked two batters while striking out four.

Watkins did get some help from Tony Kemp in the bottom of the fourth when the veteran utility man made an incredible sliding catch and turned it into an inning-ending double play.

The A's (33-87) now have lost five in a row heading into Wednesday's series finale in St. Louis.

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