The Royals pounded out 18 hits and won a classic Fenway Park slugfest, 13-8 over the Red Sox on a Saturday afternoon in Boston.
Kansas City wasted no time taking the lead. Facing Red Sox starter Dennis Eckersley, Willie Wilson started the game with a single. He then took second when Eckersley made a wild throw on a pickoff attempt. With one out, George Brett singled to drive in Wilson. Darrell Porter followed with a home run, his first of the season, for a 3-0 lead. But the Royals weren’t done yet. Willie Aikens doubled, and with two outs, walks to Clint Hurdle and Frank White loaded the bases. That ended Eckersley’s afternoon, but U.L. Washington greeted reliever Keith MacWhorter with a two-run single, and the Royals took a 5-0 lead.
The Royals added one more run in the second. Hal McRae was hit by a pitch to start the inning. He stole second and scored when Aikens singled with two outs.
Royals starter Renie Martin, who was making his first major-league start after working exclusively as a reliever in 1979 and appearing as a reliever five times in 1980, struggled some in the second inning after a scoreless first. With one out, Brett made two errors on one play, a grounder by Tony Perez, who wound up at second after the bad throw. Butch Hobson walked, and Dave Rader hit a line drive that hit Hobson. Rader was credited with a single but Hobson was out. Dwight Evans followed with a three-run home run, cutting the Royals’ lead in half.
But Kansas City answered with another big inning in the top of the third. Hurdle led off with a double and White reached on a bunt single. Washington doubled to drive in both runners and Wilson singled to score him, while Wilson took second on the throw home. Reliever Steve Renko got the next two hitters out, but Porter singled to score Wilson, giving KC a 10-3 lead.
Perez hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third, but the Royals scored two more runs in the fourth. In that inning, White singled with one out and stole second. Washington walked, and Wilson singled to load the bases. McRae hit a potential double play ball, but second baseman Jerry Remy made a wild relay throw to first. Two runs scored on the play, pushing the Royals’ lead to 12-4.
Martin understandably weakened in the sixth. With one out, Hobson walked. Rader doubled and Evans drove both runners in with a single. The Royals turned to reliever Marty Pattin, but singles by Remy, Rick Burleson, and Fred Lynn brought the Red Sox to within 12-8 before Pattin restored some order by retiring eight straight batters.
Kansas City tacked on one more insurance run in the eighth, as Wilson singled with one out and scored on McRae’s double. Pattin allowed two singles in the ninth, but one was followed by a double play, and he retired Perez on a harmless fly ball to end the game.
The win improved the Royals’ record to 14-12. They were tied for third in the AL West with Texas, with both teams two games behind Oakland.
George Brett watch: 2-6 with a run scored and an RBI. Season stats: .262/.360/.523
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS198005100.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Craig Brazell (1980), George Kottaras (1983), Salvador Perez (1990)