The offensive explosion the Royals had been expecting for two weeks finally materialized, as they erupted for eight runs in the fourth inning, and rode that to a 12-5 win over the White Sox on a cold and blustery Wednesday night at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
Kansas City scored seven runs in three consecutive games from April 22-25, but since then had totaled just 17 runs in eight games while being shut out three times. And despite a game time temperature of 46° with strong winds, this night looked like it would be different at the start. Kansas City grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Willie Wilson led off the game with a single, moved to second on a groundout, stole third, and scored on Dave Chalk’s groundout.
But the lead was short-lived, as Chicago put up three runs in the third inning against Royals starter Rich Gale, who had only allowed one hit in the first two innings. Bruce Kimm led off with a double, but was caught in a rundown on Greg Pryor’s ground ball. Pryor ended up at second and scored on Claudell Washington’s double. Bob Molinaro singled to score Washington, then stole second and scored on Lamar Johnson’s two-out single.
However, the Royals finally showed the offense they had expected all season in the following inning against White Sox starter Ken Kravec. The rally started with two outs and no one on, as John Wathan and Willie Aikens singled. Frank White’s single drove in Wathan. Bob Detherage singled to load the bases, and Wilson followed with a double that drove in two runs. U.L. Washington’s single scored two more and finished Kravec for the evening. Facing reliever Randy Scarbery, Chalk reached on a bunt single. Hal McRae doubled to drive in two more, and Darrell Porter’s single drove in McRae, putting the Royals in front 9-3. The nine straight hits were one short of tying an American League record which dated back to 1901.
Chicago came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, knocking Gale out of the game in the process. But the Royals answered with three more runs in the fifth. Aikens began the inning by being hit with a pitch. White singled, and Detherage launched a three-run home run, his first in the majors, to put the game away.
The win improved the Royals to 12-11 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West, but only two games behind Oakland.
George Brett watch: Once again, Brett missed a game with his bruised right heel. Season stats: .255/.359/.527
Box score and play-by-play:
Today’s birthdays: None