This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: April 11

Larry Gura got the Royals in the win column for the first time in 1980, shutting out the Detroit Tigers 4-0 on a frigid Friday night at Royals Stadium.

With first-pitch temperatures at 42° and a north wind gusting up to 25 mph, Gura held the Tigers to six singles in a game that mercifully only lasted two hours and 13 minutes. He did walk three batters but picked up five strikeouts.

The Royals’ offense was baffled by Detroit starter Dan Schatzeder early on, collecting just one hit through the first four innings. But Kansas City broke through in the fifth. Hal McRae led off with a single, and John Wathan walked with one out. Pete LaCock singled for a 1-0 lead.

LaCock came through again in the seventh. McRae doubled with one out, and with two outs, the Tigers intentionally walked Wathan to set up a lefty-lefty matchup. LaCock got the best of Schatzeder again, lacing a double to right field to score both runners. Bob Detherage followed with his first major-league hit, scoring LaCock and increasing the KC lead to 4-0.

That was all the offense Gura needed. He retired 10 straight hitters at one point and entered the sixth having allowed just one hit. But from there it was a struggle. Gura worked around a single and walk in the sixth, two singles to start the seventh, a leadoff single in the eighth, and a two-out single and walk in the ninth. But he made the pitches he needed to escape those jams, and Detroit wound up stranding six runners over the final four innings.

George Brett watch: 1-4 (single). Season stats: .143/.250/.143

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198004110.shtml

Today’s birthdays: Bret Saberhagen (1964), Steve Scarsone (1966), Joe Vitiello (1970), Todd Dunwoody (1975), Andres Blanco (1984)

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