Two runners were on base with one out when Royals designated hitter Billy Butler stepped into the on-deck circle as a pinch hitter.

The crowd of 40,933 at Kauffman Stadium was flushed with anticipation, thinking about the possibility of Butler coming up with the bases loaded in his All-Star Game debut in the sixth inning Tuesday night against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

"I started to remember that he's done pretty well against knuckleball pitchers in the past," Butler's dad, J.D., said from his seat on the first-base side of home plate.

But when Miguel Cabrera grounded into an inning-ending double play, the crowd groaned and Butler would lead off the the seventh inning of the American League's 8-0 loss.

The crowd rose to its feet when Butler was announced as the pinch hitter against lefty Cole Hamels. In fact, the ovation for Butler was so loud that Hamels stepped behind the mound and let Butler soak in the moment, and he responded by doffing his blue helmet.