This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: April 19

The Royals coughed up a three-run lead, letting Detroit snap a seven-game losing streak with an 8-6 win on a pleasant Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium.

Kansas City held a 6-3 lead after the top of the sixth, but Detroit scored two runs off Royals starter Dennis Leonard in the bottom of the sixth. Steve Kemp started the inning with a double and scored with one out on a Champ Summers single. After a Tim Corcoran single, the second wild pitch of the inning left runners at second and third. Lance Parrish’s sacrifice fly brought in a run that would not have scored without the wild pitch, as Leonard retired Tom Brookens to end the inning.

Still, Kansas City held a 6-5 lead. But the bullpen, in the persons of Renie Martin and Gary Christenson, could not hold it. With one out, Martin surrendered a walk to Lou Whitaker and a bunt single to Kirk Gibson. Christenson was summoned from the bullpen, only to allow a home run to Kemp, his second of the game. That gave Detroit an 8-6 lead, and Morris completed the game with two perfect innings.

The Royals had jumped on Morris quickly. In the first inning, George Brett walked with two outs and Willie Aikens hit his first home run as a Royal. Kemp answered with a solo homer in the bottom of the first, but the Royals expanded the lead in the third, again with a two-out rally. This time, Brett and Aikens each doubled, and Hal McRae hit a two-run homer.

Detroit got two runs back in the bottom of the third. Brookens led off with a homer, followed by an Alan Trammell single and Whitaker walk. A fly ball moved Trammell to third, and he scored on a wild pitch.

McRae led off the sixth with a walk and advanced to third on two groundouts. He scored on a Jamie Quirk single, giving KC a 6-3 lead. But that was the Royals’ last hit as the Tigers stormed back for just their second win of the young season, both against Kansas City and both with Morris on the mound.

George Brett watch: 1-3 with a walk, two runs scored. Season stats: .242/.342/.455.

Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET198004190.shtml

Today’s birthdays: Brent Mayne (1968), Dennys Reyes (1977), Alberto Callaspo (1983), Ambiorix Burgos (1984), Brian Flynn (1990)

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