>>Royals Rough Up Rays

(Kansas City, MO) — Billy Butler went 3-for-3 with a home run to pace a 13-hit attack as the Royals roughed up the Rays 11-1 in a makeup game at Kauffman Stadium. Salvador Perez also homered and knocked in four for KC, which won its second straight after a seven-game skid. Jeremy Guthrie pitched five innings of one-run ball for his 13th win. The Royals are in Minnesota tonight to take in the Twins. It’s the start of a six-game road trip that also includes three games in Toronto.

>>Craig’s Slam Lifts Cards Past Reds

(St. Louis, MO) — Allen Craig crushed a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning as the Cardinals rallied past the Reds 8-6 in the opener of a huge three-game series at Busch Stadium. Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer in the third for the Redbirds, who have won eight of their last 10 to take a half-game lead in the NL Central on idle Pittsburgh. Carlos Martinez picked up his first career victory. Edward Mujica closed it out for his 35th save. The Cardinals and Reds square off in the middle contest of a three-game set tonight at Busch Stadium. The Cards have won five out of six and send Joe Kelly to the hill. Cincinnati counters with Mat Latos [[ LAY-tose ]], who is 13-and-4 this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15.

>>Chiefs Get Set For Green Bay

(Kansas City, MO) — The Chiefs are preparing for their final preseason tuneup as they host Green Bay Thursday at Arrowhead Stadium. KC is coming off a 26-20 overtime win against the Steelers on Saturday. Alex Smith and Chase Daniel each threw a touchdown pass in the win. The Chiefs must trim their roster to 75 players this afternoon.

>>Rams Gear Up For Final Preseason Game

(Earth City, MO) — The Rams are getting set for their final preseason game. St. Louis welcomes the defending champion Baltimore Ravens to Edward Jones Dome on Thursday night. The Rams are winless this preseason at 0-and-3. St. Louis opens the regular season one week from Sunday at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

>>NFL Managers Make Cuts

UNDATED (AP) — NFL general managers are busy as they try to get down to tomorrow’s 75-man roster limit. Among the veterans released today are Washington receiver Donte’ Stallworth, Jets receiver Braylon Edwards and running back Joe McKnight, Bucs receiver Derek Hagan and fullback Spencer Larsen, Patriots linebacker Niko Koutovides (koh-toh-VEE’-dehs) and Browns receiver Jordan Norwood. Meanwhile, the Giants activated defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul from the physically unable to perform list.

>>Rams Waive 11 Players

(Earth City, MO) — The Rams are cutting down the roster ahead of today’s deadline. St. Louis has waived wide receivers Demetrius Fields, Raymond Radway and Andrew Helmick, quarterback Tim Jenkins, kicker Brett Baer, long snapper Jorgen Hus, linebacker Joseph Lebeau, defensive tackle Al Lapuaho, tight end Colby Prince, and cornerback Robert Steeples. Offensive lineman Graham Pocic was also waived/injured. The team is now down to 78 players but must cut down to 75 by today at 3:00.

>>Missouri Prepares For Opener

(Columbia, MO) — Missouri is just days away from the start of a new football season. The Tigers will host Murray State on Saturday night at Faurot Field. The contest is scheduled for a 6:00 kickoff and will air on ESPN3. The Tigers finished their inaugural season in the SEC with a 5-and-7 record and went 2-and-6 in conference action.

>>KState Preps for Upcoming Season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jake Waters will be under center when defending Big 12 champion Kansas State opens its season Friday night against North Dakota State. Wildcats coach Bill Snyder said the junior college transfer was more consistent throughout fall camp than Daniel Sams. Snyder also said both quarterbacks will play against the Bison.