For the third straight game, Baltimore pitching got the best of the Royals’ lineup. The result was a 5-2 win for the Orioles and a sweep of the three-game series at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
This time, it was Steve Stone, following in the footsteps of Jim Palmer and Mike Flanagan. Stone, who would capture the 1980 AL Cy Young award (which Flanagan had won in 1979 and Palmer had won three times in the 1970s), limited the Royals to two runs on eight hits and one walk. He struck out three. The Royals did collect two hits in the first inning, but Frank White was caught stealing ahead of George Brett’s double, and Kansas City got nothing.
Baltimore then grabbed a quick lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Royals starter Rich Gale walked Kiko Garcia. With two outs, Eddie Murray pounded a home run for a 2-0 lead.
The Orioles extended the lead with two runs in the fourth, as Pat Kelly tripled for one run and scored on a John Lowenstein single. Al Bumbry homered in the fifth for a 5-0 lead, with Gale responsible for all five runs.
At last, Kansas City broke through in the eighth. Stone had held the Royals to six hits to that point, but with one out he hit U.L. Washington with a pitch. White singled and Brett tripled to pull KC within 5-2. Reliever Tim Stoddard took over for Stone and, despite walking Willie Aikens with two outs, ended the inning with no further damage. Stoddard then retired the Royals in order to pick up the save and complete the sweep.
George Brett watch: 2-3 with a walk, a double, and a triple. Season stats: .280/.357/.520.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL198004170.shtml
Today’s birthday: Dennis Paepke (1945)