Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler needed a single in either of his final two plate appearances to hit for the cycle Thursday night.
After he homered in the first inning, doubled in the third and tripled in the fifth during the Royals’ 8-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, Butler had the most difficult part of the cycle behind him.
Butler, however, struck out in the seventh and ninth innings.
“I really didn’t have much to hit,” Butler said. “They pitched me tough with some really good sliders. (Submariner Darren) O’Day is not somebody a right-hander is going to have much success against at all. I know I haven’t in my history. I’m just trying to take him the other way, and it just didn’t work out. He’s going to get most righties out all of the time.”
O’Day retired Butler in the ninth after Matt Lindstrom fanned him in the seventh.
Butler’s triple was only the fourth of his career and his first since 2009. His three-run homer in the first gave the Royals a 4-0 advantage.
Hall of Famer George Brett was the last Royal to hit for the cycle, accomplishing the feat July 25, 1990, at Toronto.
Butler is hitting .458 (11-for-24) with three home runs and five RBI in six games against the Orioles this season.