Billy Butler nearly hits for the cycle in Royals win

Thursday, August 9, 2012 | 9:42 p.m. CDT
Kansas City Royals' Billy Butler connects for a triple against the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth inning Thursday in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE — Billy Butler came within a single of hitting for the cycle, and the Kansas City Royals beat Baltimore 8-2 on Thursday night to end the Orioles' five-game winning streak and take the luster off Manny Machado's impressive major league debut.

Butler homered in a four-run first inning, doubled in the third and tripled in the fifth. Needing only a single to become the first Kansas City player to complete the cycle since George Brett in 1990, Butler struck out in the seventh and again the ninth.

He did, however, finish with three RBIs and scored three runs. Butler is 11 for 24 (.458) with three homers and five RBIs in six games against Baltimore this season.

Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, went 2 for 4 and played flawlessly at third base in his first game above the Double-A level. The 20-year-old grounded out in the second inning, tripled in the fifth, beat out a slow roller to second base in the seventh and popped out to end the game.

Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles, who failed for a sixth time this season to extend a five-game winning streak to six.

Baltimore rookie Wei-Yin Chen (10-7) allowed a career-high seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. Coming off two straight starts in which he did not allow an earned run, the Taiwanese left-hander yielded a home run to Alex Gordon on the second pitch of the game and never got back on track.

Will Smith (3-4) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings for the Royals, who have won four of five.

Kansas City took a 4-0 lead before Chen could get an out. After Gordon hit his third leadoff homer of the season, Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain followed with singles before Butler homered on a 1-1 pitch.

In the second inning, Machado received a warm ovation from the crowd of 21,226 before his first at-bat. With two on and two outs, he hit a chopper to Escobar at shortstop and was thrown out by a step.

The Royals used doubles by Butler, Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur to make it 6-0 in the third. Moustakas was 2 for 27 lifetime against Baltimore before his run-scoring hit.

Chen's night ended in the fifth, when Butler tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Salvador Perez.

In the bottom half, Machado tripled and scored on a fly ball by Nick Markakis to make it 7-1. Escobar hit an RBI single in the sixth, and Wieters connected in the Orioles' half.

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