This Date In Royals History-1980 Edition: May 18

The Royals jumped on Angels starter Frank Tanana for a five-run first inning and made it stand up for a 5-3 win at Royals Stadium.

The first five hitters of the game reached base safely before Tanana was removed for relief pitcher Jim Barr. Willie Wilson led off the game with a double. U.L. Washington tripled, George Brett singled, Darrell Porter doubled, and John Wathan tripled. After Barr came in, Frank White’s sacrifice fly scored Wathan.

Barr finished the inning and worked five more scoreless innings, allowing only two hits in his six innings. However, Royals starter Renie Martin settled in after the second inning to work seven solid innings. In that second inning, Freddie Patek hurt his old team by tripling to score Ralph Garr. But Tom Donohue grounded to third, and Brett was able to throw Patek out at home. Martin, making just his third start of the season, was able to retire 13 of the next 16 batters.

Martin’s only other trouble came after a Brett error on Patek’s grounder in the seventh. After one out, Larry Harlow homered to bring the Angels within two runs at 5-3. But Martin was able to finish the inning with no further incident.

After Rod Carew singled to lead off the eighth, Dan Quisenberry relieved Martin. Quiz got Dan Ford to ground into a double play, then worked around a Joe Rudi double. He then finished off the game in the ninth, following Garr’s leadoff walk with three groundouts.

With the win, the Royals improved to 18-15 and also won the three-game series. They were tied for third in the AL West with Texas, although both teams were just one game behind Oakland.

Box score and play-by-play:

1980 news alert: In Washington state, Mount St. Helens, which had been belching steam, rock, and ash for almost two months, finally erupted after an earthquake caused the north face of the mountain to slide away. That freed a massive amount of lava, gas, rock, and ash. The eruption marked the largest landslide ever recorded, and significant amounts of ash fell in 11 states and two Canadian provinces. While there is still some dispute on the official death toll, the most common number given is 57. Also, the volcano caused about $1.1 billion dollars in damage in 1980 figures.

1980 news alert: Golfer Tom Watson came up just short in his attempt at a $200,000 bonus for winning the Byron Nelson and Colonial National tournaments in consecutive weeks. Watson had won the Nelson event in Dallas the week before, but finished three strokes behind Bruce Lietzke in Fort Worth. The organizers of the two tournaments had offered the prize to any golfer who could win both. Had Watson won, it would have been his fourth straight title.

Today’s birthdays: Dennis Leonard (1951), Jim Sundberg (1951), Jaime Bluma (1972), Felix Martinez (1974), Joakim Soria (1984), Randy Rosario (1994)

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