The Red Sox teed off on the Royals’ bullpen, turning a close game into an eventual 7-0 blowout on a Saturday night at Royals Stadium.
Starter Paul Splittorff had held Boston to two runs on seven hits entering the eighth inning. With one out, Jim Rice doubled and the Royals turned to reliever Marty Pattin. But Tony Perez singled and Carlton Fisk laced an RBI double. After an intentional walk of Butch Hobson, Pattin was pulled in favor of Gary Christenson. Jerry Remy hit a sacrifice fly and Glenn Hoffman doubled to push the Boston lead to 5-0.
Christenson remained on the mound for the eighth, but after a single, wild pitch, and a walk, Perez singled in another run. Renie Martin entered the game in relief of Christenson but surrendered a run-scoring single to Fisk before getting the last two outs.
Hoffman also had collected his first major league hit (snapping an 0-13 skid) in the third inning, with a single to drive in Ted Sizemore with the game’s first run. And in the fifth, Hoffman tripled and scored on a Dwight Evans sacrifice fly.
Offensively, the Royals struggled against Boston starter Chuck Rainey, who pitched a complete game and allowed just five hits, although the Royals did draw four walks. Kansas City grounded into three double plays and had a runner caught stealing, though.
The Royals’ best scoring chance, perhaps their only one, might have been in the seventh. Willie Aikens led off with a walk and John Wathan reached on an error on Sizemore. But Clint Hurdle grounded into a double play and Jamie Quirk struck out to end the inning. Boston then scored those three runs in the eighth and the game was essentially over.
The Royals fell to 10-10 with the defeat. They were tied for fourth in the AL West with Seattle, with both teams three games behind Oakland.
George Brett watch: Still nursing a bruised heel, Brett was held out of the lineup again. Season stats: .259/.365/.537
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA198005030.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Bob Buchanan (1961), Homer Bailey (1986), Mike Morin (1991)