The obvious storyline Thursday night, when the Royals opened a four-game series in Baltimore with an 8-2 victory, is Billy Butler had two chances to hit for the cycle. And he needed a single. Not a triple.

That's right. He had the triple.

Alas, the Butler didn't do it. (Go ahead and groan.) He struck out in the seventh inning against Matt Lindstrom and in the ninth against side-armer Darren O'Day. That means George Brett, in 1990, remains the last Royal to hit for a cycle.

"I really didn't have much to hit," Butler said. "They pitched me tough. Lindstrom threw me some really good sliders. He threw me a fastball right on the outside corner, and then threw me a slider to put me away.