For the second time in 10 days, the Royals were shut down by Baltimore’s Mike Flanagan, who pitched a complete game in the Orioles’ 4-0 win on a Saturday afternoon at Royals Stadium.
Back on April 16, Flanagan held the Royals to one run on seven hits in a complete-game effort in Baltimore. On this day, he once again limited Kansas City to seven hits, and matched his previous game with one walk and four strikeouts.
There was no shame in this; Flanagan was the reigning Cy Young winner in the American League. And with regulars Amos Otis (finger), George Brett (bruised heel), and Darrell Porter (rehab) out of the lineup, Kansas City was not at its best. But it was still an impressive effort from Flanagan.
The Royals did have a few scoring chances. In the first inning, with two on and one out, Hal McRae hit a line drive up the middle, and only a great diving catch by second baseman Rich Dauer kept it out of center field. John Wathan also lined out to second and the Royals got nothing. Singles by U.L. Washington and Willie Wilson started the fifth, but after a sacrifice bunt moved them up to second and third, Washington was thrown out at the plate on a comebacker to Flanagan. McRae struck out to end the inning. And Washington doubled with one out in the seventh but never even got to third base.
Royals starter Rich Gale also held his opponent to seven hits, but walked four, although he did pick up seven strikeouts. After the Orioles had stranded five runners in the first four innings, they broke through in the fifth. Kiko Garcia led off with a single and scored on Al Bumbry’s triple. Former Royal Pat Kelly hit a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
Baltimore then doubled that in the eighth, tacking on two insurance runs on a Doug DeCinces home run.
The day’s highlight for the Royals probably came after the game, when Porter took the field for a workout, the first in a series for him to get back in game shape after a month in rehab for drug and alcohol addictions. Porter did some hitting, running, and throwing while about 2,000 fans were still in the stands and cheering for him.
The loss dropped the Royals to 8-7 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West, three games behind Chicago.
George Brett watch: although he was held out of the lineup with a bruised heel, Brett pinch-hit in the ninth and ended the game with a fly ball to right. Season stats: .260/.373/.560.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198004260.shtml