Butler stays hot with triple that amuses A's
OAKLAND -- Two players named Billy tripled Wednesday in the A's 4-1 series-clinching win over the Rockies at the Coliseum. One -- Billy Burns -- you might expect. The other -- Billy Butler -- you most certainly wouldn't.
Butler belted a ball to left field to lead off the second inning. Rafael Ynoa backpedaled and nearly made an extraordinary catch. Instead, the ball ricocheted off his glove, Ynoa was shaken up and before center fielder Charlie Blackmon could retrieve the ball, Butler bumbled his way to third.
Triples don't come too often for Butler. In fact, it was his first since 2012 and just the fifth of his nine-year, 4,599-at-bat career.
"The outfielder almost has to die," teammate Ike Davis said, "and he almost did."
Butler agreed. He said the only way he's getting a triple is if the outfielder falls. When Burns tripled in the third, Butler said, the speedster was almost a full base ahead of him.
It took Butler longer than most to get to third, but he got there.
"It's great to see Billy run the bases," Davis said, chuckling.
"I was egging it on," A's winning pitcher Jesse Hahn said. "I felt like [third-base coach Mike Gallego] over there, doing the whole wheel thing with my arm. That sparked us a little bit, got us going there."
Three batters later, Butler showed off his blazing speed once again, scoring from third on a sacrifice fly by Eric Sogard.
A bang-bang play at the plate seemed inevitable, but Ynoa made a poor throw.
"I'm not going to lie, I was a little worried," Hahn said. "But he put his head down and gave it all he had, and the guy made a bad throw."
Butler tacked on an RBI single in the fifth. He finished the series 6-for-10 with a home run, two RBIs and four runs as he appears to be busting out of a long-term slump.
The A's hope Butler will provide many more RBIs in the second half of the season as they look to inch toward the .500 mark. But they also realize it may be years until they see him hit another triple.
"The only thing I thought about right after I got that triple was that it took away from my double total," Butler joked.