This Date In Royals History–1980 Edition: April 27

After being held hitless for five innings, the Royals came alive, at least enough to capture a 3-2 win over Baltimore on a cool, cloudy Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium.

Orioles starter Dennis Martinez faced the minimum 15 hitters through five innings, as Kansas City’s only baserunner–Clint Hurdle, who drew a walk in the third–was immediately erased on a double play. Although Martinez had only one strikeout in those five innings, he was getting the Royals to hit the ball on the ground; eight of the 15 batters were retired on grounders.

Meanwhile, Baltimore had picked up two runs off Royals starter Paul Splittorff, although one was unearned. With one out in the second, Gary Roenicke doubled and Lee May walked. After a grounder resulted in a forceout at second, third baseman Jamie Quirk booted Rich Dauer’s ground ball, allowing Roenicke to score. Baltimore’s second run came in the fourth, when Roenicker and May began the inning with a single and a walk. After Floyd Rayford reached on a bunt single to load the bases, Dauer grounded into a double play, with Roenicke scoring again.

In the sixth, though, the Royals finally got their first hit. With one out, Clint Hurdle bashed his second home run of the year, depositing a 1-1 pitch in the left-field seats to cut the Orioles lead to 2-1. U.L. Washington followed with a single and stolen base, and scored when Frank White singled with two outs to tie the score. Martinez went from throwing a no-hitter to being removed from the game in favor of reliever Dave Ford.

Ford got out of the sixth, but with one out in the seventh, John Wathan tripled off him and scored on Quirk’s single.

Splittorff made those three runs stand up. After escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, he did not allow Baltimore another hit. The Orioles’ lone baserunner in the last four innings came on a one-out walk in the ninth, but Splittorff got pinch-hitter Doug DeCinces to ground into a game-ending double play.

The win gave KC a 2-1 victory in the three-game series, and improved their overall record to 9-7. They were tied for third with Texas in the AL West, 2.5 games behind Chicago.

George Brett watch: Brett did not play, as he was still sidelined with the bruised heel he suffered in the first game of the series. Season stats: .260/.373/.560.

Box score and play-by-play:

Today’s birthdays: Pat Lennon (1968), Orber Moreno (1977), Runelvys Hernandez (1978), Joey Gathright (1981), Aaron Brooks (1990)

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