Nearly Cycling With Billy Butler

August 9, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) is congratulated by Alcides Escobar (left) and Lorenzo Cain (right) after hitting a three-run home run in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

I know that Dayton Moore has demanded more wins from his club as the season gets closer to the finish line. That's all well and good, except wins at this point don't seem to matter too much. When your strength as an organization is in drafting, why screw with your draft position by picking up wins? That's so Royals.

What will keep me watching now are the individual performances.

I was enthralled by the Billy Butler cycle watch on Thursday. Compelling baseball in a season that has provided anything but. The guy hit a triple. His first triple since September 1, 2009. That alone is newsworthy.

And after three plate appearances, the guy needed a single. It didn't happen.

That wasn't the first time in Royals history that happened.

Butler's feat was the ninth time a Royal collected a double, triple and home run in a game, yet fell a single short of the cycle.

The full list:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB 1B R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
1 Billy Butler 2012-08-09 KCR BAL W 8-2 5 5 0 3 3 1 1 1 3 0 2
2 Alex Gordon 2011-06-21 KCR ARI L 2-7 4 4 0 1 3 1 1 1 2 0 0
3 Alex Gordon 2007-07-26 KCR NYY W 7-0 4 4 0 3 3 1 1 1 1 0 0
4 Raul Ibanez 2002-06-25 KCR DET W 8-6 4 3 0 2 3 1 1 1 4 1 0
5 Steve Balboni 1984-07-23 (1) KCR TOR W 9-8 4 4 0 3 3 1 1 1 4 0 0
6 Hal McRae 1979-09-10 (1) KCR MIN W 6-5 7 6 0 2 3 1 1 1 3 1 0
7 George Brett 1978-09-27 KCR SEA L 2-4 4 4 0 2 3 1 1 1 1 0 0
8 Hal McRae 1977-05-28 KCR BOS L 12-17 6 5 0 4 3 1 1 1 4 1 0
9 George Brett 1976-06-13 KCR BAL W 8-4 4 4 0 2 3 1 1 1 3 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/10/2012.

If Billy Butler can come a single away from the cycle, why not Steve Balboni. His inclusion on the list is probably the most shocking thing I could have found when running the table. Although Balboni collected at least one triple in each season from 1982 to 1989.

The cycle is a rare feat. The last Royal to cycle was George Brett in 1990. In franchise history, only four players have accomplished this. Besides Brett doing it twice, you have Frank White (twice), John Mayberry and Freddie Patek.

Patek was the first Royal in franchise history to collect the cycle and he did it in a season where he hit a career high six home runs. The excellent thing about his cycle was Patek was up with two outs in the top of the ninth of a tie game, needing the home run to complete it. His homer gave the Royals the win.



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